Watch out Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone – there are two new kitties in town. That’s right, the Cabinet Office have made two new hires. Evie and Ossie (mother and son) were top of the mousing recruitment list and – if reports are to be believed – practically sailed through their interviews. However, reports are currently limited as to the status of their mouse catching abilities. The race is on to see which kitty shines the brightest in the mousing stakes – current bets are on people’s favourite, Palmerston, who lives at the Foreign Office. But Evie and Ossie, although newcomers, are not to be outdone. So what can we, the public, expect from these two new civil servants? Here’s what we know so far:
Evie, named after Dame Evelyn Sharp, the government’s first permanent female secretary, is a black and white short-haired kitty. Her trademark is the smudge of white she has on her chin, along with her pretty white booties. A seasoned mouser who was adopted from the Celia Hammond Trust, Evie has been given run of the Whitehall office and is looking to prove herself immediately – and the pressure is definitely on for her to start tackling Whitehall’s persistent rodent problem (insert joke about politicians here). Rumour has it though that Evie, while trying to set a good example to her son Ossie, is quite the diva. Frazzled Cabinet Office staff relay numerous stories of Evie’s strict mousing training programme. “It’s a total nightmare,” whispered one member of staff who wished to remain anonymous, “she demands very exact food. Proteins. Gluten-free. If you give the wrong amount of the wrong thing she’ll ignore you for the rest of the day.” Another staff member adds, “she does her stretching exercises on my desk at times which are obviously inconvenient, and I once found her in my office after hours looting my bin.” When asked if these claims are true, Evie shut them down as fake news stories.
Like mother like son? Well, Ossie certainly seems the quieter of the two. Named after Sir Edward Osmotherly, author of Osmotherly Rules, the guide civil servants use when giving evidence to parliamentary select committees, Ossie is making a different kind of name for himself. Black and fluffy, with a slightly dark caramel undercoat, he’s the epitome of cute. But while Evie seems set on collecting mousing trophies, Ossie is focused on collecting friends and fans. He can often be found brushing dust off desks with his bushy tail, and helping with various odds jobs like managing interns, doing tea runs and organising office get togethers. “Oh Ossie’s great,” cheered the entire Cabinet Office when enjoying one of Ossie’s group tea rounds, “he’s one of us, a real team player. He even set up our inter-office 5-a-side football league and scored last week’s winning goal!” While no one commented on Ossie’s mousing efforts, we’re sure he’s making solid progress.
Seems like the other government cats have their work out cut keeping up with Evie and Ossie. We’ll certainly be watching to see how well they fare in comparison to their furry rivals Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone. They might be newcomers, but the Cabinet Office cats are certainly making their mark.
If you missed meeting Gladstone, Larry and Palmerston, hear more about the original (furry!) politi-cats here.