Who is Larry the Cat and how does he keep outlasting UK leaders?
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is out, resigning Thursday after less than three years on the job. Larry the Cat, a mainstay at 10 Downing Street, is not going anywhere.
The brown and white tabby, whose official title is chief mouser to the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom, has been living in the country’s executive office since 2011.
With Johnson’s resignation, Larry has now outlasted three British prime ministers, having previously seen the ends of David Cameron’s and Theresa May’s terms at 10 Downing.
Larry was initially brought to Downing Street by Cameron to handle a rat issue near the prime minister’s official residence. He was a former stray adopted from London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and was the first cat to take over the unofficial rat-catching post since the retirement of Humphrey in 1997.
The chief mouser is well-versed in interacting with world leaders. He appeared to have warmed up to former President Obama but took a nap under former President Trump’s armored vehicle during his visit in 2019.
Now it seems that Larry has garnered enough respect from British politicians in his lengthy tenure as chief mouser that some are facetiously floating him for a potential prime minister bid himself.
“Well at some basic level, almost anybody in Parliament would be a better prime minister than Boris Johnson. Larry the Downing Street cat would be a better prime minister,” Rory Stewart, a former Conservative member of Parliament, said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Following Johnson’s election to the office in December 2019, it was rumored that Larry may be headed for the door since Johnson is inclined toward dogs.
However, even after Johnson’s Jack Russell terrier Dilyn moved into Downing Street, Larry has remained in his post and can now add Johnson to the list of prime ministers he has outlasted.