Guess who's back? It's Palmerston the cat

Last updated at 11:33
Palmerston-the-cat.PA

Great news for cat fans. Palmerston the puss is back.

The Chief Mouser will be back to create more havoc (and keep the mice at bay).

He had taken some time off because of stress as he was being given too many treats by staff. Tough life isn't it!

But he's tweeted to say he's making a return, and the Foreign Office has put out new guidance to make sure he's okay.

Cat-Parliament.@DiploMog
Who is Palmerston?

In case you didn't know, Palmerston is a rescue cat who lives and works in the Foreign Office and helps to keep an eye on the number of mice there.

He was named after Lord Palmerston, who was UK prime minister in the 19th Century.

There are already a few cats living in important government buildings in London, and many of these are old and full of mice.

Palmerston-the-cat.
Why the comeback?

Palmerston has been off his duties since July because of stress, he was constantly being picked up by staff and had become overweight because he was being fed too many treats. Uh oh.

But now the man in charge of looking after him, Sir Simon McDonald has written a strict letter to his colleagues warning them that if they do not change their behaviour towards the cat, he may be retired for good.

Staff have been given four rules by Sir Simon now Palmerston is back. He has told them:

1. No-one (apart from his carers) are allowed to feed Palmerston. No Dreamies. No bowls of food under the desk for if he happens to drop by. Nothing!

2. Second, everyone must help keep Palmerston in the 'Palmerston Zone'. He will now manage the offices and area surrounding the Grand Staircase and it will be marked with stickers that say, 'You are entering/leaving the Palmerston Zone'.

3. Third, everyone must respect Palmerston's personal space. Allow Palmerston to choose whether he wants to interact with you: offer your hand as if you were introducing yourself to a stranger, and allow Palmerston to make the first move. Don't wake him if he is sleeping.

4. Fourth, "if he is in Palmerston HQ, he is not to be disturbed. Palmerston is a friendly, outgoing cat, but we all need our privacy."

Palmerston has quickly become a celebrity after coming to the Foreign Office back in April 2016.

He's got nearly 100,000 Twitter followers and his photo is on cat food in Australia!

Glad to see you back Palmerston!

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