Posted by: Idioma Extra | February 22, 2011

The Weird and the Wonderful

Cameron calls in Larry the cat to catch the rats


LONDON (Reuters) – Downing Street has a new occupant — a street-smart character with a license to kill.

Larry the cat has been brought in to the Prime Minister’s official residence to clean up a gang of rats who have been openly parading in front of the TV cameras.

He had lately been living at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home after having been taken in as a stray.

He was recruited on Tuesday specifically for catching rats, but Prime Minister David Cameron’s young children are believed to have been in favour of seeing him move in.

Larry will be looked after by Downing Street staff, which helped choose him, and will have the run of most of the offices and official rooms as well as the garden.

Battersea said Larry showed all the signs of the hunter instinct needed for seeing off rats as well as the right qualities in coping with the demands of daily life at Number 10.

“He’s quite independent and has bags of character,” it said in a statement. “I can definitely see Larry holding his own at Downing Street.”

The BBC has shown footage of rats scuttling down the London street as correspondents reported live on camera.

Downing Street had asked for a cat that was happy meeting new people, but had few other requirements, the shelter said.

The last cat to stalk Downing Street, Humphrey, vanished shortly after Tony Blair and his wife Cherie moved in in 1997.

Humphrey’s predecessor in the corridors of power, Wilberforce, served four prime ministers, including Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher, before his death in 1988.

Word of the Day

pre·de·ces·sor: \ˈpre-də-ˌse-sər\
Origin: Middle English predecessour, from Anglo-French predecessur, from Late Latin praedecessor, from Latin prae- pre- + decessor retiring governor, from decedere to depart, retire from office — more at decease
First Known Use: 14th century
1: one that precedes; especially: a person who has previously occupied a position or office to which another has succeeded
2 archaic: ancestor

More Vocabulary

Occupant: n. one who occupies a particular place
Parade: v. show off
Scuttle: v. scurry
Shelter: n. an establishment that houses and feeds stray animals
Stalk: v. to pursue quarry or prey stealthily
Stray: n. a domestic animal that is wandering at large or is lost

Idioms & Expressions

Hold one´s own: to maintain one’s position or condition

  • The stock market seems to be holding its own these days.

Move in: begin to occupy a residence or working place, as in

  • We are scheduled to move in next month.

Love those Phrasal Verbs

Bring in: to present for consideration, approval, etc.; introduce

  • She brought in six new members last month.

Look after: to take care of; minister to

  • Jane, could you please look after Mr. Ramirez? He is not feeling very well and we might just have to drive him to the doctor´s office.

Take in: assume care or support

  • Sarah was taken in as a young child by her adoptive family.



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