Friday 7 August 2020 10:43 am

Foreign Office cat Palmerston heads into retirement

Palmerston, the cat who has lived at the Foreign Office for four and a half years, is to step down from his mouse-catching duties for diplomats.

He will instead retire to the countryside, where he plans to live out the remainder of his years relaxing in the rolling grass.

Handing in his resignation to the Foreign Office’s most senior civil servant Simon McDonald, the black and white cat said: “I have enjoyed climbing trees and patrolling the fields around my new home in the countryside.”

“I will miss hearing the footsteps of an Ambassador and sprinting to my hideout to see who it is.”

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There is not expected to be a wider reshuffle, as Larry the cat remains on Downing Street while Gladstone retains his post at the Treasury.

Palmerston came to the Foreign Office from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, gaining more than 100,000 followers on Twitter as Brits were bewitched by his mouse-catching antics.

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McDonald said Palmerston had enjoyed his time away in the countryside during lockdown so much that he had decided to stay for good.

“Everyone at the Foreign Office will miss him,” he said.

Larry the cat later echoed the same sentiment.

“Although I am ending my formal role here, I will always be an ambassador for the UK and the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office,” Palmerston concluded, signing off with two paw prints.