Larry, the resident moggy (cat) of No. 10 Downing Street, the British equivalent of the White House, has made it clear that he does not like the Chancellor’s moggy, Freya, who resides next door in No. 11 Downing Street. In October 2012, the two cats were photographed by the paparazzi in a full-on cat brawl. It could be because Freya is a much better mouser than he is (Larry, in fact, has received a fair amount of chiding for not keeping the mice at bay in No 10). Or could it be that Larry knows Freya is actually a secret agent for the Chinese? That is the rumor anyhow, even among humans.
Freya disappeared from the Chancellor’s residence a few years ago and then mysteriously returned recently. That in and of itself would not cause concern, but what is raising eyebrows is that Freya is showing up in all sorts of sensitive places such as the British Treasury, the Cabinet Room in No. 10 Downing and the secret war gaming room during a time when exercises by the Royal Navy were being performed.
Freya’s ability to casually stroll right past guards, metal detectors and ID checkpoints would indeed make her a “purrr-fect spy.” One Tory insider joked “Some of us think the Chinese got her. She can get everywhere. You’d only have to bug her and you could find out half the Government’s secrets.”
Freya is also a frequent visitor of the Red Lion Pub, a popular Westminster watering hole for political gossip. But insiders question how the cat regularly crosses four lanes of very busy traffic to get to the pub. To help her get back to Downing Street safely, a barmaid will often escort the wandering feline back home at the end of her shift. Maybe the barmaid is on on the spy mission as well. We will have to check with Larry and see what he thinks.
Freya’s spying is (from what we can tell) a joke. However, bugging a cat for espionage has been done before. The CIA project Acoustic Kitty was a botched 1960s attempt to enroll cats in spy missions against the Kremlin. A battery and microphone were implanted in a cat and an antenna was attached to its tail. With 1960s technology, I imagine this must have been a cumbersome cargo for the cat to carry – and it may explain why on its first mission the poor kitty was supposedly run over by a taxi. Some reports suggest that Acoustic Kitty cost taxpayers an absurd $20 million.
As to whether Freya is a spy or not – and whether for the Chinese, the Americans (after Edward Snowden’s revelations easily could be) or the Russians, it seems that a full security frisk and scan would resolve that question and no doubt, Larry wonders why it hasn’t already been done! Or maybe it has, but that information is classified Top Secret.