Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Whitehall cats - and churnalism

I wish The National Archives had put this page up before I wrote my article on Larry for Comment is Free, because it seems there is quite a history of cats in Whitehall:
The original Peter the Home Office cat was 'Chief Mouser' in residence until 1946 when he passed away. There are letters from Austria, Italy and the USA mourning the death of Peter, including one letter from the 'Peter Remembrance Society' ...
Cats appointed to other government offices as 'Chief Mouser' include 'Jumbo' at the Cabinet War Rooms and 'Smokey' at the Treasury.
There was also a story in the Daily Mail the other day saying that someone had recognised Larry and was claiming he was her own lost cat.

It turns out that this story was planted to show how often the media pass stories on without checking them. Strangely, all reference to it has now disappered from the Mail's website.

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