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Last updated at 11:56 BST, Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The government's cat fight


23 October 2012

There's been trouble this week between the occupants of numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street, the homes of the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor, George Osborne. But it's not exactly political…


Rob Watson

Larry the Downing Street cat


Click to hear the report


I'm standing opposite, arguably, the most famous terrace of 18th century houses in the world. I can see the black shiny door of number 10 and next door number 11. Yes, I'm in Downing Street, of course. I've been drawn here because there's been much reporting of a fight between the occupants. No, not David Cameron and George Osborne, we think they're still pretty good friends, or, at least, as friendly as any politicians can ever be with each other. It's their cats, who were captured on camera fighting.

Freya, that's Mr Osborne's cat, was photographed giving the feline equivalent of a left hook to Larry, that's Mr Cameron's pussy. To be fair, there have been rumours of tensions for some time. Larry, who was brought as a stray to Downing Street to deal with a mouse problem, has seemed, well, fairly indifferent to the job and, reportedly, took nine weeks to catch his first rodent. Last month, Larry is reported to have simply dozed on a chair as mouse ran across the Prime Minister's office, to the frustration of Mr Cameron.

So, is feisty Freya making a move to become Downing Street's top cat? Asked about relations between the two cats, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said they co-exist, but insisted she was not "going to get into commenting on the adventures of our feline friends in Downing Street". Shame, could be interesting.


Click to hear the vocabulary



people who live in a place

captured on camera




left hook

swinging punch with the left hand


strained relationships


homeless animal


not bothered about something


slept lightly




energetic and troublesome

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