It is reported that The Government now has at least three cats on its payroll: Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone.

The Government now has three cats.
To chase the mice and maybe rats,
And more of them I think we’ll see,
In government publicity.

I do not mean more cats thereby,
But rather, through the camera’s eye,
Their pictures if they are not shy,
I think are set to multiply.

For people mostly like a cat –
There’s nothing very wrong with that –
And even those who this dispute,
Still find their pictures rather cute.

So feline pictures can’t go wrong,
Unless they do a poo or pong,
In which case and without delay,
They must be shown the litter tray.

The cats, as I have said, are three:
There’s Gladstone at The Treasury,
Palmerston at The FCO*

And lastly, as I’m sure you know,
There’s Larry who since way back when,
Has been the cat at Number Ten.

I s’pose he thinks he is in charge,
Has certain duties to discharge,
But whether Larry can control,
The other two cats on the whole,
Perhaps is not yet very clear,
Because they often disappear.

But anyway, we wish them well,
How long they’ll be there none can tell,
But probably, they will survive,
A few elections – four plus five?

* Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Image -Andy Thornley / Creative commons



For older people – those like me,
Who can recall when time for tea,
A programme watched while eating jam,
Was titled as Larry the Lamb.

We liked it ’cos it was so nice,
Although we couldn’t watch it twice,
Recorders which could play again,
Just hadn’t been invented then.

Well, Larry Lamb went long ago,
As most of you already know,
But now we have got Larry Two,
Re-homed from Battersea Rescue.

This Larry Two is now a cat –
I knew you’d want to ask me that –
And his address is quite refined,
With staff there who are mostly kind.

For this cat lives in Downing Street,
An address which is pretty neat,
But round the corner lives a foe,
That’s Palmerston of the F.O.

With Palmerston he had a scrap,
Which left him with a handicap,
And so he went off to the vet,
Which might not have been paid for yet.

The staff have always paid his bills,
For food and drink as well as ills,
And this arrangement’s been all right,
Until some peer of modest height,
Has questioned if the state should pay,
For Larry’s upkeep day to day.

Perhaps he thinks costs might get worse,
So should come from the public purse,
For animals of any size,
That have a Government franchise.

There really is no problem here,
And I’m afraid it is not clear,
Why this lord, also called a peer,
Perhaps thinks he’s something to fear.

I don’t know either, I must say,
But maybe it could be one day,
That if the Lords’ cat feels unwell,
He thinks he’ll have to pay as well.

Image –

Find all Ebenezer Bean’s books on Amazon.