Palmerston takes up office again as Westminster welcomes its second Battersea cat

13 APRIL 2016

Five years after Larry made himself at home at 10 Downing Street, a new Battersea cat is being welcomed into the heart of British politics.

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Named after former Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, this black and white moggy is fittingly being rehomed to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to stalk the corridors in search of mice.

In a true rags to riches story Palmerston will take his new position in the Foreign Office, having arrived at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in March as a neglected stray. The two year old domestic short hair was found wandering the streets of London, and like many of the 1025 stray cats brought into us last year he was found hungry, underweight, and with no microchip, meaning his previous owners could not be traced.

Palmerston can now look forward to greeting international visitors and diplomats, befriending fellow political puss Larry, and most importantly, setting his sights on the rodent population of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, based next door to Downing Street. His political namesake Lord Palmerston served in Government for 46 years and became enormously popular thanks to his assertive foreign policy, and we believe the new Palmerston will be just as confident in his approach. 

Battersea’s Head of Catteries, Lindsey Quinlan said: “Palmerston will have no problems making friends and foes in the Foreign Office. He’s a very confident cat, loves being with people, and enjoys a good chin rub. But nothing escapes the attention of this Battersea moggy and we know he’ll have an eagle eye out for unwanted visitors, whiskers twitching and ready to pounce at the right moment, to keep his new home free of rodent interlopers. If his behaviour at Battersea is anything to go by, we predict Palmerston will be a formidable feline, very deserving of his new name.”  

Palmerston will follow in the footsteps of Freya, once owned by Chancellor George Osborne who was a regular visitor to the Foreign Office. When he’s not patrolling the corridors of power he will be residing in the office of Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary, or PUS. He’ll have access to most offices and official rooms and will be looked after by members of staff.

Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “I am delighted to welcome Palmerston to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In his role as FCO Chief Mouser, he will assist our pest controllers in keeping down the number of mice in our King Charles Street building. I hope that Palmerston’s impact will be as considerable as his namesake’s.”   

Last year we rehomed 3,107 cats all across the UK, with around nine cats leaving for new homes every day of the year.