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Tuesday 15th February 2011 | 11:35
The Number 10 Lobby briefing was a cracker today. Yes we covered inflation, welfare reform, a bit of Cabinet, and Barclays payouts.
But it was fat cats of another kind that gave us most laughs.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman actually gave us a full Q&A briefing on this burning topic. A cat-sceptic, the PMOS (wearing his best hang-dog expression) reluctantly admitted defeat thus:
"There was a group of people in Downing Street who though it was a jolly good idea. They* have won."
He then ran through some of the crucial moggy details, agreed with Battersea Cats Home.
In answer to the Question, 'Is He a Good Rat Catcher?', he said:
"Most cats come into Batters as strays so very little is known about their history. Battersea's specialist staff and volunteers interact with cats on a daily basis and it's how cats interact with toys that reveals whether they have a high chase drive and hunting instinct.
"Whilst in Battersea's care, Larry showed a very strong predatory drive and enjoyed playing with toy mice...[at this point I asked whether George Osborne did the same..sadly no reply]...
"Before coming to Battersea, Larry was a stray so he's used to fending for himself in the streets. Nothing is ever guaranteed but his behaviours at Battersea have convinced staff that he will be up for the job."
There then followed questions from hacks as to whether the money for the cat hiring would come from a Treasury 'kitty'..and whether Larry would be 'happy'.
Happy or no, Larry will be transported in a van to Number 10 this morning and will be unveiled for snappers soon this afternoon.
I asked if we could get a pic of Larry's first 'kill'. The PMOS pointed out that he probably operated under the cover of darkness...
*PAWNOTE: The PMOS confirmed that the PM's children Elwen and Nancy were in the inner circle at No. 10 who wanted the cat. I expect that the kids will squeal with delight when they get home from school this afternoon.
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