George Osborne is the number 2 politician in the United Kingdom as he is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He lives at number 11 Downing Street. His neighbour is the Prime Minister. Number 10 has a resident cat, Larry, to keep rats at bay and George Osborne’s family also have a cat and her name is Freya. She is a 4-year-old tabby cat.

Freya, the wanderer

A little while ago I wrote an article about Freya wandering around the area of London some way from home. I was critical then but this worse. Freya has now been rescued by a homeless outreach worker more than a mile from number 11 Downing Street. She was found at a busy junction in Vauxhall two days ago. It gives me the shivers thinking about it. This is a traffic dominated place.

Katie Jones says that she is used to working with homeless people (Thames Reach), not homeless cats but when she saw Freya she realised how distressed she was and did the only thing possible and got her off the streets. Clearly in the area where she was found there is a lot of traffic and it is extremely dangerous for a wandering domestic cat.

The outcome, I read, was that George Osborne’s chauffeur was sent around in his official car, I suspect, to pick up Freya from Katie Jones.

I don’t want to be harsh and I don’t know what you think about this but common sense tells me that it is irresponsible for a cat owner to allow their cat to wander at will around Central London, which is packed with heavy traffic and a myriad of congested roads.

As this has happened before, to a lesser extent, you would have thought that Mr Osborne’s family would have made alterations to their guardianship of their cat. This is hardly guardianship. It is more a casual acquaintance with a tabby cat who happens to wander in and wander out of their lives to the detriment of the health and welfare of the cat.

I don’t believe that a domestic cat living in Central London should be allowed to wander at will. And certainly Mr Osborne is well able to find alternative means of allowing his cat to fulfil natural instincts while keeping her safe.

George Osborne is a multimillionaire through his family’s business in home furnishings. They make wallpaper and other products. Surely he could make arrangements to do better than this for his cat.

Perhaps, if I am to apportion blame, it is better that I blame his wife who I presume is in charge of the household. Being Chancellor of the Exchequer is a very busy job and therefore no doubt George Osborne has little time to micro-manage his cat’s activities. Anyway it’s not good enough and I’m sorry to say that. It also sets a bad example because Freya is a high profile domestic cat and it would be nice to see her living in an ideal domestic cat environment.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Michael I agree they don't seem too bothered do they? Some people are just so flippant about the welfare of their companion animals and yet aren't they supposed to be family? If his daughter or grandaughter went wondering he would take action then but obviously this cat is was down his list of priorities

    • Agreed. Some people are unconcerned. It must go back to thinking that "it is only a cat" - an attitude which is not good for cat caretaking. It is more about cat ownership.

      • I agree my cats come before me their bellies get filled before ours if we don't have much money and have to choose vets treatment always comes first. Btw typo I of course meant wandering not wondering lol :)

  • someone needs to "kidnap" Freya and keep her !!!!! She deserves so much more. . .love and prayers that something can be worked out for her safety. . . <3

  • These are the people that I call "casual caretakers". It's a slightly lesser sin than abuse.
    They have a cat(s), sometimes, because it reflects positively on them.
    But, they have no real connection with them.
    If they're around, they'll feed them.
    If they're gone a day or two, they don't look for them.
    If they curl around their legs or meow, they're brushed away as annoying.

    • Good assessment Dee. Spot in. There may be a bit of competition going on with the Prime Minister who lives next door because as you might know they have a cat or there is a cat, Larry, who prevents rats at number 10 Downing Street!

      I think, in truth, the Osborne's are not really in the right situation to keep a domestic cat. They are probably too busy and too involved in other things to give enough time to ensure that their cat cared for properly.

      • I get it; but am trying to think in terms of where you are and where I am.
        If I lived in London, I think that it would be best for Freya to be rehomed.
        Here, it would be hard to rehome because of the magnitude of cats. And, we know what the outcome would be in a county shelter.
        Being said, I think I would rather have Freya be in a casual caretaking situation, if HERE, than in any other.

  • I was just reading about this on the news page this morning, Freya was apparently a mile and a half away from home and distressed. I'm glad that lady found her and arranged for her to go home albeit in a tax payers funded chauffeur driven car, had it been one of us ordinary mortals we wouldn't have sent an employee to collect her we'd have run there and grabbed her and hugged her with relief. Surely there is some way Freya can be kept safe without curtailing her freedom altogether, I really think the chancellor could afford a large cat run! The Osborne's also have a dog, Lola, a bichon frise, since 2011, maybe that is what upsets Freya and makes her feel unwelcome at home.

    • I think he has a enclosed back garden at No.11. Not sure but I think he has. I believe he actually lives at No 11 (sometimes they just use these places as offices). It is just extraordinarily careless to let a cat wander around that area because out the front is Whitehall, a main road, and it is just roads from there on.

  • Don't mention the name George Osbourne here in the North East if you haven't got a body guard with you lol
    His 'cuts' have devastated our region, he has no heart at all for ordinary human beings, so he definitely won't care about a cat.
    I think it's dreadful Freya wandering around London, it's such a busy place! I'm all for cats having some freedom but not in a dangerous place.
    Surely Mr Osbourne being a millionaire, could afford to fence off a decent sized safe area in their grounds.
    I'm thinking too, it's unusual for a female cat to go so far away which makes me wonder if she's not happy in her home?

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