May 31 2023
Cats of Number 10!
Cats have long been cherished companions to many individuals throughout history, including some of the most influential figures in the world. In this captivating journey, we delve into the lives of the feline friends that have graced the homes of British Prime Ministers. These furry companions have witnessed historic events, brought comfort during challenging times, and captured the hearts of their owners and the nation. Join us as we uncover the stories behind the cats that have left their pawprints on the corridors of power.
Winston Churchill and Jock: Winston Churchill, the indomitable leader during World War II, found solace and inspiration in the company of a cat named Jock. Jock, a ginger tabby, was a frequent companion of Churchill, often sitting beside him during cabinet meetings. The Prime Minister adored Jock, famously saying, "I like pigs, cats, and horses. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." Jock's presence brought a sense of tranquillity and provided Churchill with much-needed respite from the tumultuous world of politics.
Harold Wilson and Puss: Harold Wilson, who served as Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976, shared his life with a black and white cat named Puss. Puss was known for her playful nature and would often entertain the Wilson family with her antics. Puss became such a beloved member of the household that she was even included in the official Wilson family portrait. Her presence brought joy to the Prime Minister's residence and provided a welcome distraction from the pressures of political life.
Margaret Thatcher and Humphrey: Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, may be remembered for her strong leadership, but she also had a soft spot for a stray cat named Humphrey. Humphrey became the resident cat at 10 Downing Street during Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. He was known for his independent spirit and was adored by the staff and visitors alike. Humphrey's presence provided a touch of warmth and humanity amidst the corridors of power.
Tony Blair and Sybil: Tony Blair, the charismatic Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, and his family welcomed a sleek black cat named Sybil into their lives. Sybil, with her elegant demeanour, became a beloved member of the Blair household. She even had her own pet passport, accompanying the family on official visits and trips abroad. Sybil's presence brought a sense of normalcy to the Blair family's life and offered a respite from the intense scrutiny of political office.
David Cameron and Larry: David Cameron, who served as Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016, faced an ongoing problem at 10 Downing Street—the presence of mice. In an effort to tackle this issue, Larry, a tabby cat, was recruited as the official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. Larry quickly became a media sensation, with his mischievous antics capturing the nation's attention. Larry's role extended beyond mouse-catching, as he became a symbol of stability and an unofficial ambassador for Downing Street.
From Churchill's faithful companion Jock to Larry, the feline protector of 10 Downing Street, the cats of British Prime Ministers have left their mark on history. These cats provided solace, comfort, and companionship to the leaders of the nation, offering a much-needed respite from the demands of political life. Their playful antics and serene presence brought a touch of humanity to the corridors of power and captured the hearts of the nation. The stories of these remarkable feline friends remind us that even in the highest office, the unconditional love and companionship of a cat can make a world of difference.