September 22, 2016 – Their names both start with the letter ‘G’ and they both have a demonstrable interest in animal matters, after all, Gus is a cat and George is the UK Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra, which has responsibility for all UK animal welfare issues). And, they look alike.
The three-year-old black and white cat caught the eye of the politician and wife Katy when they recently visited the charity Cats Protection’s Mitcham Homing Centre in Surrey to find a new pet.
“Gus, the newest addition to our family, took all of 20 minutes to settle into his new home and stretch out on the sofa. All the team at Cats Protection were fabulous and the rehoming centre was immaculate. Charities like this do great work,” said George, who is also the MP for Camborne, Redruth & Hayle.
“Gus has such a lovely temperament and he made a beeline for George and his wife as soon as he saw them. Within five minutes, he had plonked himself on their laps and was purring away. In hindsight, I think it was more a case of Gus choosing them than the other way round!” Mitcham Homing Centre’s deputy manager Rosie King said, adding, “Like many cats, Gus has a lovely, calming presence so we know he will be well suited to a political household.”
A Defra source told Pet News Today: “Gus is enjoying his time at home with the minister and his family and is not expected to take on a role in Defra policymaking. Unlike some of his high-profile peers, he will not be based in Whitehall, although we understand he may offer the minister occasional informal advice on feline matters.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats each year, or over 500 each day, through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
Photos: Anna Branthwaite