-- The U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a new, unlikely hire.
A cat named Palmerston is being welcomed today into the heart of British politics as the newly named "Chief Mouser" for the FCO, according to a spokeswoman for the department.
The 2-year-old feline is named after Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, who served as the U.K.'s foreign secretary nearly 200 years ago before going on to serve twice as prime minister.
"I am delighted to welcome Palmerston to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," said FCO Permanent Under-Secretary Simon McDonald in a news release. "In his role as FCO Chief Mouser, he will assist our pest controllers in keeping down the number of mice in our King Charles Street building. I hope that Palmerston’s impact will be as considerable as his namesake’s."
The 2-year-old feline has come a long way since he was first rescued by the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home "as a neglected stray" found "wandering the streets of London" in March, according to a news release from Battersea.
Originally found hungry and underweight, Palmerston will now be able to enjoy the life he deserves in his new Westminster home, where he will "have access to most offices and official rooms and will be looked after by members of staff," the release said.
"Palmerston will have no problems making friends and foes in the Foreign Office," said Battersea’s Head of Catteries Lindsey Quinlan. "He’s a very confident cat, loves being with people, and enjoys a good chin rub."
She added that "nothing escapes the attention" of this "formidable feline" who will "have an eagle eye out for unwanted visitors, whiskers twitching and ready to pounce at the right moment, to keep his new home free of rodent interlopers."