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Palmerston, U.K.’s top cat diplomat, back at Foreign Office after time off for stress

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 3/12/2019 David Matthews
a black cat sitting on a white surface © Kirsty Wigglesworth

The U.K.'s foreign pawlicy boss is back in action.

After taking some time away from his “chief mouser” obligations, Palmerston, a black-and-white rescue cat, returned to the U.K. Foreign Office on Monday.

In a series of tweets, the Foreign Office announced new “Palmerston Protocols” to make sure the cat was happy and healthy inside the government building.

In an memo to staff, Sir Simon McDonald, the permanent under secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service at the Foreign Office, said the cat was not thriving and changes were needed.

“It was no longer an environment that was working for him,” McDonald wrote. “He was over-grooming on his front legs, a sign of stress.”

On the advice of a vet, Palmerston was moved out of the Foreign Office in the summer and recovered with a member of McDonald’s staff.

“During his summer holiday, Cabinet ministers, colleagues and overseas visitors have asked me anxiously about his whereabouts,” McDonald wrote. “The good news is that Palmerston is coming back this week. But we must remember why he needed a break, and change our behavior towards him.

“He is happy, healthy and full of energy. His pelt is glossy and mostly grown back. We need now to keep him that way.”

McDonald said the cat would have less territory to monitor when he returns and would have “full choice and control of who he deigns to greet or imperiously ignores” while on the clock.

Palmerston was welcomed back by Larry the Cat, the chief mouser at 10 Downing Street, the home of the Prime Minister.

“All I want for Christmas is you!” Larry the Cat tweeted.

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