Britain’s most popular cat, Larry, was seen going above and beyond his mouse-catching duties outside the prime minister’s office this week. The Cabinet Office’s longtime chief mouser took on a fox outside 10 Downing Street — and won.
Video of the feline-canine fisticuffs went viral, showing Larry creeping up to the small fox with laser focus. When the fox attempted to hide in a flower bed, Larry pounced and chased it off.
“Fox off,” a message from an unofficial Twitter account for Larry reads along with a video of the incident.
But shortly after, a message from the account seemingly issued another message, saying he’s “feeling guilty about chasing off foxy,” and offered up information from the United Kingdom’s animal welfare charity RSPCA about how to deter foxes from gardens and live with them around. According to RSPCA, foxes are one of the country’s most popular animals and are commonly seen in urban areas.
Larry is the first feline to have the honorary and official title of chief mouser and has been taking care of animal problems at 10 Downing Street for years, dutifully serving prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and now, Liz Truss. He was adopted specifically for his mouse-hunting skills in February 2011 from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, one of the U.K.’s oldest animal rescue centers.
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According to Larry’s official description on the U.K. government’s website, he “spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences and testing antique furniture for napping quality.”
“His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house,” the website says. “Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage.'”
The cat has become so popular that he was even nominated to be the country’s next prime minister earlier this year — with a campaign site and all.