Arguably Number 10’s most beloved resident, Larry the Cat, is believed to be staying put despite reports that he could leave in the New Year.
Speculation had swirled that Downing Street’s famous feline was set to step out of the limelight and into retirement in 2020, regardless of who holds the title of Prime Minister after December’s General Election.
But Larry called reports of his retirement “fake mews” on Twitter, with The I’s policy editor, Jane Merrick, saying a source close to the cat has dismissed the speculation.
“Rumour going round that @Number10cat is being ‘retired’ in the New Year is NOT true, insider says,” Merrick tweeted. “‘Not letting Larry go anywhere,’ says a source close to Larry.”
Larry the Cat himself issued a cat-egorical denial.
Reports had suggested Larry was poised for retirement, with one political snapper tweeting that Larry would join the Foreign Office’s cat, Palmerston, in putting his career in politics behind him.
“The longest serving member of No10 Larry will be following in the footsteps of Palmerston early next year into a well earned retirement one is hearing, sad news for me but happy for the most decent resident to walk the corridors of power, definitely the wisest.”
But the photographer later tweeted: “A very nice young man just came out of No10 to tell me Larry is not up for retirement, as did the FCO when Palmerston went on holiday 6mths ago only never to return, but I can say just seen dear Larry looking v good indeed!”
Twitter users were understandably flabbergasted by the rumours of Larry’s retirement.
“If they “retire” (evict) Larry the Cat @Number10cat we riot!” said Jack Evans.
“Many inhabitants of 10 Downing St I would like to see retire. But @Number10cat is not one of them,” Jon Gallagher added.
Kevin Wallington said: “Larry cannot retire – He has been the most intelligent and honest incumbent of No 10 for years. Claws out if anyone tries to meddle with him!”
Thankfully, it looks like nobody will seek to cur-tail 12-year-old Larry’s tenure as Downing Street’s chief mouser in the near future at least, providing some strong and stable continuity to carry the UK through a tumultuous time in modern politics.
Even Boris Johnson knows who’s boss when it comes to running the country.