Insiders have complained that Larry the four-year-old tabby has failed to deliver on a pledge to tackle Whitehall’s vermin problem. Larry is the latest in a long line of potential employees to suffer the pain of anonymous briefing.
One source told a Sunday newspaper that Larry had done little but sleep since his arrival from Battersea Cats and Dogs home 10 days ago, stirring occasionally to scratch passing officials. Larry had even left hair on the Prime Minister’s suits, the anonymous briefer complained.
"He has shown no interest in the many mice in Downing Street," a source told the Independent on Sunday. "There is a distinct lack of killer instinct."
A senior Downing Street spokesman leapt to defend the cat from the anonymous slurs, pointing out that it was far too soon to expect the rat catcher in chief to have fulfilled his brief.
In fact, Larry has only just begun to explore his new home at No 10, and will not be allowed outside the building, where the rats were seen, to the alarm of television news crews, for more than a week in case he takes flight and runs away.
He added: “Larry is a very popular member of staff. It’s true that he slept for his first two days at Downing Street, but he had been through quite an ordeal moving into a new home.
“Like all cats, he does still sleep a bit, but he is certainly a lot perkier than he was when he arrived."
Source: The telegraph 28/02/2011