Cameron hires new ally - with whiskers and claws

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) speaks next to Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, during address to Department Of Energy And Climate Change (DECC) staff on May 14, 2010 in London. (Getty, Oli Scarff)

February 15, 2011 3:55:44 AM PST
Britain's government says Prime Minister David Cameron has a new ally to help fend off his foes - armed with whiskers, claws and a flash of sharp teeth.

Cameron's office says Larry, a four-year-old tabby cat, will make Downing Street his new home on Tuesday. He will be tasked with warding off a mischief of rats seen scuttling around the British leader's official residence.

Larry, a former stray adopted from London's Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, will be the latest pet to be appointed Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, an unofficial government pest control post.

His arrival follows several sightings of rats around Downing Street. The vermin are a common problem in London, where trash scattered on sidewalks provides a constant supply of food.