Prime Minister is a big job. But is it as big a job as being the Prime Minister’s house cat?

Whenever there’s a new Prime Minister in London, the question many of us ask is: what happens to the cat living at the official residence at 10 Downing Street?

There has long been a cat living at the Prime Minister’s house. Its official title is Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. Unofficially prime ministers have had cats on hand for centuries, but it’s been an official job since 1929.

And sometimes a controversial one – the cats often become celebrities, and sometimes they get so many treats as a result, they stop catching mice.

Some have paraded in front of the cameras outside the residence, and have occasionally been moved indoors so as not to upstage big announcements.

The US Secret Service has had trouble with several Downing Street Cats. One, called Humphrey, decided to check out then-president Bill Clinton’s limousine up close, which is a big no-no for anybody.

And another mouser named Peter nearly made the mistake of a lifetime: he reportedly soiled a doormat outside the residents moments before the Queen herself walked by.

The current Downing Street cat is Larry, who’s been in the job since 2011 – yes, the cats stay on even as Prime Ministers come and go – Larry’s spent much of his tenure feuding with the Palmerston, the cat that lives at the UK’s Foreign Office.

Politics is a rough business, even for cats.

Something else that’s rough: running through a plate glass window, as the mascot for hockey’s New Jersey Devils just did at a kid’s birthday party a few weeks back.

The partygoers were playing a game of parachute. Then, for reasons only known to mascots, the Devil ran toward the window, which broke.

The team issued a statement on Twitter, asking its mascot, “You good, New Jersey Devil?”

Downing Street Cats (and other British Government felines) (Purr-n-Fur UK)

The new PM’s first job: Impress the cat (BBC)

Home Office cat history revealed (BBC)

Cats that left a mark in the corridors of power (Telegraph UK via Internet Archive)

New Jersey Devils Mascot Runs Through Window At Boy’s Birthday Party (Huffington Post)

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Photo by Parrot of Doom via Wikicommons/Creative Commons