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Fat cat in Downing Street

2011 February 16
by Paul Vallely

Those who follow the political mafia on Twitter could be forgiven for wondering whether any real work was done in Westminster yesterday. The Twits seemed concerned only with the arrival of Larry the new Downing Street cat.

In one way you can see why. Animals have offered a new set of political allegories to the metaphor-impoverished scribblers of the lobby since the appearance of rats on camera behind tv reporters standing opposite the famous black door of No 10. References to sinking ships and the lack of boomtown times followed apace.

David Cameron’s press people were promptly asked whether another cat was in the offing to replace Humphrey, who quit during the Blair era. The Coalition denied it, and then, in a major political U-turn, announced the imminent arrival of Larry. Much talk of fur flying followed. Now expect copious references to Tory fat cats, especially since it turns out new arrival is 6.9 kilos, which is not just fat but positively obese in the cat-weight tables.

That will not be all. A Downing St spokesman immediately announced that the former stray is “a good ratter”. By contrast insiders at the Battersea Dog and Cat Rescue Home disclose that the neutered male four year-old’s track record so far is confined to chasing fluffy mouse toys. Where Larry stands on voting reform has yet to be disclosed.

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