Something for the weekend: UK government officials are adding chin rubs, belly strokes, and plenty of cuddles to their employee motivation and reward strategies as they welcome new hire Gladstone, the latest cat to join Whitehall’s mouse-catching team.
Based at the Treasury, the one-year-old, short-haired black cat has been named after the former chancellor and four-time prime minister William Ewart Gladstone. He was previously at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a resident there since May.
Gladstone is the latest member of the feline squad tasked with solving mouse problems within the government buildings. He joins colleagues Larry, who is based at 10 Downing Street, and Palmerston, who takes care of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Rumours are also circulating that the Cabinet Office could be gaining a moggy protector to make up the fourth member of the team; chief whip Gavin Williamson reportedly hinted at the potential new hire and name ‘Cromwell’ to photo-journalist Steve Back.
Lindsey Quinlan, head of catteries at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said: “We are thrilled that Gladstone has now taken up residence in the Treasury and have high hopes that he’ll be ready to take on the rodents of the Horse Guard Road offices. He’s a confident cat who absolutely loves people so he’ll have to tear himself away from his cat cuddles to get down to business becoming a marvellous mouser.
“Staff at Battersea fell in love with Gladstone during his stay here, his big cheeks and big heart match his big personality and we think the staff at the Treasury will quickly fall for his charm too. History has it that Gladstone and Palmerston’s political namesakes had a rocky relationship so we look forward to hearing how he gets on in Westminster and whether he makes friends or foes with his famous Battersea feline predecessors.”
A spokesperson at the Treasury said: “We are delighted to introduce our new cat, Gladstone, to the heart of British politics. Gladstone can look forward to pouring over budget scorecards, greeting visitors from around the world, but most importantly, setting his sights on the rodent population of the Treasury and assisting our pest controllers in keeping down the number of mice in our Horse Guard Road offices. We are confident that Gladstone will live up to the legacy of his namesake, William Ewart Gladstone, and go down in history as one of the most impressive cats to roam Whitehall.”
The Employee Benefits team hopes staff in Whitehall have a suitable feline engagement strategy in place that enables the cats to carry out their roles without too much internal competition (or cat fights)…