Oh crumbs, Palmerston - the in-house mouser - is a murderer
If you're bored of the politics, Downing Street can offer an alternative in cat-watching
Just two weeks into Jeremy Hunt’s new regime at the British Foreign Office, Palmerston, the department’s mouser, has been spotted dismembering a duckling.
The black-and-white Tom (keep up with Palmerston’s Twitter page here) has a reputation for being a keen killer, dwarfing his Number 10 rival Larry’s mousing record – but he has never before exhibited a taste for wildfowl.Three-year-old Palmerston, who has previously been seen tearing chunks off elderly Larry (see Larry’s Twitter page here), trotted proudly across Whitehall holding the limp duckling in his mouth.
He intercepted the bird between the Downing Street nature reserve and St James’s Park, snatching it under the nose of its mother.
Last year, the Foreign Office announced its mouser, who was adopted from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, had caught 26 mice and “a big rat” in his first year.
The department said this number was likely to be even higher, as the ferocious cat often “does not leave much behind”.Despite Palmerston’s bloodthirsty nature, he is very friendly towards humans, and has a close bond with Sir Simon McDonald, who works at the Foreign Office.
Sir Simon said he “loves” the cat, and has been seen sharing his Pret soup with his feline companion.
There are currently five cats in various government departments, recruited after staff and politicians complained about a rampant mouse and rat problem.Slight black shorthair Gladstone (Keep up with his Twitter here) resides in the Treasury, and is famed for his smart bow-ties, while Evie (her Twitter accound here) and Ossie both prowl the Cabinet Office in search of rodents.
Larry the cat was the first mouser to be adopted, and was given his post under former prime minister David Cameron, who was forced to deny rumours that he did not like the animal.
– © The Daily Telegraph