Evie and Ossie are the newest members of the Westminster cat team as Cabinet Office mousers. There are now five cats on Downing Street.
The cabinet office has adopted a black and white cat called Evie and another named Ossie, to help deal with the mouse problem that the government offices are suffering from. Evie is named after Dame Evelyn Sharp who was the first female permanent secretary, and Ossie was named after Sir Edward Osmotherly who was the author Osmotherly Rules, which is now the guide to the civil servants when they are giving evidence to Parliamentary select committees. It is fair to say that these little kitties have big shoes to fill. The Cabinet Office tweeted:
“Welcome to our new cats Evie & Ossie, rescued by @CeliaHammond. Arrived in time to celebrate our 100th birthday & catch some mice!”
They join Larry, the number 10 cat on the street, Palmerstone who is the Foreign Office mouser and Gladstone, the Treasury’s cat.
This news comes as a bit of a surprise to most people after the Cabinet Office stated that they were definitely not getting a cat, despite looking into it, in October. Clearly, their minds changed (we don’t blame them) and there are now two new cats roaming the grounds.
They have been adopted from Celia Hammond Animal Trust and will be funded by staff contributions – not by taxpayers. There have been hired to help with the mouse problem in 70 Whitehall. There are a range of different pets living at Downing Street, a couple of which are two little dogs, that apparently get locked away to protect them from Larry, Number 10’s cat.
The weirdest pet at in British politics is probably the tarantula, Cronus, owned by Gavin Williamson, he even keeps the eight-legged creature – perhaps another pet that should stay away from the gang of cats taking over Westminster.
Larry the cat is known as Downing Street’s Chief Mouser, the rescue cat was adopted in 2011 and is known for being quite ferocious – I guess a feisty attitude can be good in politics. He was the first cat to live on Downing Street since 1997. Larry also infamously had a bit of a fight with Freya, the number 11 cat, who actually decided to move to the countryside – allegedly because she just could not get along with Larry.
Larry has also been seen fighting with Palmerstone and he actually ended up with a limp on one of his front paws.
Either way, we are absolutely loving this new take-over of cats in Westminister, perhaps the best thing to appear in 2016? Evie also has her own Twitter account but says that Ossie is too young to have a phone and thus, does not have his own account. You can follow her here.