The U.K’s Newest Problem-Solver: A Cat

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black cat licking lips for white rat

There is a new threat to the U.K Prime Minister’s security — rats.

During a video report last week from the Telegraph‘s Gary O’Donaghue, a large rat is clearly seen crossing the doorstep of the Prime Minister’s house.  The shock discovery is backed up by multiple testimonials from eyewitness journalists stationed outside Number 10. So it’s confirmed, Britain’s leader has a problem with rats.

But what to do? A cat is now surely the only answer.

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But cats have had a very checkered past at the Prime Minister’s residence. Humphrey, Margaret Thatcher’s cat, was banished by the Blairs within 6 months of Tony taking office (reportedly at the behest of his wife). A swift photo shoot was arranged to assure the public that Cherie was not the cat-hating harridan the country had taken her for, and  that Humphrey was alive and well and living in suburban retirement.

Alistair Campbell’s cat, Sybil, was drafted in in 2007 during Gordon Brown’s time at Downing Street to deal with a burgeoning pest problem. The then-Prime Minister and his wife, Sarah, apparently “didn’t have a problem” with a beast on the prowl next door.

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The Camerons are expected to be recruiting the services of a new rat-catcher, likely to be chosen from a rescue center. There are, however, serious questions: like feline expenses in light of the current recession, and of course, the health and safety problems created by animals in Downing Street.

A government source, quoted in the Daily Mail, said “We need to check that no one in Downing Street is going to die on the spot if they come into contact with cat hair. And we need to work out who will pay for the cat. It will not be a taxpayer expense cat.”

The cat will patrol the key Downing Street buildings: Numbers 10 and 11, and the Cabinet Office. It will be a working cat, and not be a pet for the Camerons, because let’s face it, the Prime Minister is clearly a dog man. (Via the Daily Mail)