Mary Archer has something in common with Lady Lavinia Nourse; they are both mad about cats according to Mary Archer. Lady Lavinia, you may have read, has just been found innocent of a false charge against her by a person that she intimated is a fantasist in accusing her of sexually abusing him years ago. The jury took five minutes to acquit her. Mary Archer was a character witness in her criminal trial and she said that both herself and Lady Lavinia were “completely cat mad”, which got me interested.
It didn’t take long for me to confirm that statement on the Internet in several articles about her in which cats are also featured. In one article on the Daily Mail website written in 2015 we see her in her study at her home in Cambridgeshire with her Bengal cat Sunita. She said that she has loved the company of cats since she was a young girl. She particularly likes domestic cats because she sees them as self-sufficient, affectionate and great fun.
Bengal cats, as you know, are wildcat hybrids and Mary Archer said that Sunita has a wild streak, which is to be expected, and that she likes water which is a characteristic of wild cat hybrids being a throwback to their wild ancestor which in this instance is the leopard cat from Asia which likes to hunt near watercourses.
Sunita, just like ordinary random read cats, likes the warmth of a computer and Mary Archer’s company when she is working at her desk. But she now has a flatscreen monitor/built-in computer and therefore Sunita can no longer lie on the computer so she wedges herself behind Archer’s back on her chair like a cushion, she said.
Archer has a Twitter account and a tweet on that account in 2015 suggests that the Houses of Parliament should employ working feline mousers to keep down the rodent population just like the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg which is inhabited by 30 cats. At that time there was considerable discussion about employing working cats on the Parliament estate but it didn’t take off, regrettably. I think that it would have done wonders for the profile of the domestic cat and working cats in particular.
I am a great fan of working cats because it makes them useful, in a very tangible way, rather than just entertaining their human companions and caretakers. In other words, it puts them closer to dogs because dogs are considered more useful or utilitarian than cats.
For people who are unsure, Mary Archer is the wife of Jeffrey Archer, the well-known novelist and former politician. Mary Archer herself is also a high-profile woman with a distinguished career. She should be addressed as Dr. Mary Archer because she has a PhD in physical chemistry. That’s incorrect as she should be addressed as Dame Mary Archer being married to a knight of the realm. She got her degree at Anne’s College, Oxford. One phrase always comes back to my mind to describe her and it comes from a British judge, I forget who. He described her as “fragrant”. She is certainly very attractive which when combined with her intelligence she is the kind of person that Jeffrey Archer would ‘catch’ as his wife being highly ambitious as he was and presumably still is.
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