The resident cat on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, dubbed “Lord Palmerston the Chief Mouser” in reference to its mouse-catching duties, is to retire from diplomatic service, the FCO mentioned on Friday.
Lord Palmerston, famed for normal territorial tiffs with neighbouring Downing Street mouse-catcher Larry, will see out his retirement within the English countryside, the place he has been spending lockdown already on the dwelling of a member of Foreign Office workers.
Both cats have their very own social media profiles and are highly regarded with information photographers on Downing Street duties.
“In April 2016, a cat called Palmerston arrived from Battersea (dogs and cat shelter in London). I thought I was employing a mouser. What I got was a social media phenomenon, with 105,000 Twitter followers,” mentioned Sir Simon McDonald, the Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service on the FCO, saying Palmerston’s retirement.
“After four happy years, @Diplomog (Palmerston’s Twitter handle) will retire: he’s enjoyed lockdown life in the countryside so much, he’s accepted an invitation to stay. Everyone at the Foreign Office will miss him (our mice less so). We wish him a long & happy retirement,” mentioned McDonald in a Twitter assertion.
McDonald’s personal time period as the top of FCO additionally involves an in depth this month as the division is merged with the Department for International Development to create the brand new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office from September 1.
Sir Philip Barton, the present British High Commissioner to India, will likely be taking cost as the Permanent Under-Secretary of the brand new ministry.
In preserving with the light-hearted vein of the cat information from FCO, Palmerston’s Twitter account additionally posted a proper retirement letter addressed to McDonald.
The Foreign Office official writing as Palmerston notes that after 4 years, he needs to spend extra time “relaxing away from the limelight” and that he has discovered life away from the entrance line “queiter and easier”.
“The spread of coronavirus around the world has caused many, like me, to begin working from home. I assure you I have been as diligent as ever… my diplomatic craft has had positive results,” notes the letter.
“Although I am ending my formal role here, I will always be an ambassador for the UK and the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office,” it concludes.
Palmerston was chosen from a whole lot of different rescued cats on the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in south west London to sort out errant mice on the FCO constructing on King Charles Street, subsequent door to Downing Street.
“As one of our most illustrious former residents, Palmerston has been a fantastic ambassador for Battersea. During his tenure as Chief Mouser at the Foreign Office, he has perfectly demonstrated how incredible rescue cats are, as well as the joy that they can bring to people when given a second chance,” mentioned Battersea’s Head of Catteries, Lindsey Quinlan.
“We have loved following his prolific career over the past four years and we look forward to hearing about his future adventures, as he swaps international diplomacy for a life of leisure. On behalf of all the staff, cats and even the dogs at Battersea, we wish Palmerston all the very best with this next chapter of his nine lives,” Quinlan mentioned.