Skip to main content

Dilyn the dog to leave Downing Street as Larry the Cat stays put

Dilyn the dog to leave Downing Street as Larry the Cat stays
(Image credit: Getty)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned yesterday, following a stack of scandals, his entire cabinet exiting and amidst growing pressures. This, of course, means that Dilyn the dog will be leaving Number 10 Downing Street alongside him. 

Luckily, the nation's favorite feline, Larry the Cat, will be remaining (and, if his 'Tweets' are anything to go by, probably slamming the door shut on their way out!).

Boris adopted Dilyn, his Jack Russell mix, back in 2019, when the PM and his partner rescued him with the help of Friends of Animals Wales. The poor pup had been a victim of a puppy farm, and due to his undershot and misaligned jaw had been abandoned and could have faced being destroyed.

The PM chose him in order to highlight Lucy's Law which came into effect in April 2020 and banned cruel third-party puppy sellers.

Since being adopted by Boris and his partner Carrie Symonds, Dilyn has resided in their flat, located above No.11, which was remodelled during former PM David Cameron's time in office. The adorable terrier is credited for sparking a surge in popularity for the breed, reportedly dubbed the 'Boris Bounce'.

See more

Larry the Cat, however, is a mainstay at number 10 and was adopted way back in 2011 from Battersea Dogs and Cats home, and he has held the official position of Chief Mouser at the cabinet office ever since. 

Former PM David Cameron described the tabby cat as a "civil servant" and the Downing Street website reads:

"Larry 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. Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage’."

As his tongue-in-cheek tweet reads, the feisty feline is owned by no-one and had in fact served under three Prime Ministers in his 11 year long career.

Larry wasn't the first Downing Street cat, however, he follows in the footsteps of numerous Chief Mousers. Peter the black cat was the first cat to hold the title, he was followed by Munich Mouser who reportedly didn't get along with Winston Churchill's pet cat Nelson. 

Peter III developed an international fanbase after appearing on the BBC in 1958, followed by Peta, the first female Mouser in office, retiring in 1976 – she sparked some controversy though, and was said to be loud, lazy and not toilet trained and was succeeded by Wilberforce, who reportedly had his own personal door-opener. 

During Tony Blair's time as PM, the cabinet was left cat-less due to his wife's aversion to felines...

Larry himself has had his fair share of controversy, from scraps with Freya the tabby cat (former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's pet kitty) that needed police intervention to reports that David Cameron demoted Larry from his role as Chief Mouser on account of his laziness. 

However, he is still insistent that he is not yet ready for retirement and you can keep up to date with him via his (unofficial) Twitter account (opens in new tab).