While we greatly enjoy Canadian heavy metal, we were talking about Felis catus and his relatives. And cats are all over the news this week, and mostly in Europe to boot. A major European politician is welcoming a new cat for mousing duty, plus the next famous German animal, right here on Uproxx News.
First up, Britain’s new Prime Kitty. David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, has been embarrassed a few times by rats wandering No. 10 Downing Street, including popping up at a press conference. Instead of just fumigating the place, he went with a more cost-effective solution: finding a cat at a local animal shelter.
The result was the kind of spectacle you expect out of a whimsical British comedy, as a group of political types visited the Battersea Cats Home to pick one out, while people from the home went to one of the most famous residences in Britain to ensure a cat could live there, or maybe just to go through David Cameron’s stuff with no one looking. Unsurprisingly, the historic landmark was cat-friendly enough, and the new kitty was delivered and officially given the job of ratcatcher and the singularly uncreative name of “Larry”.
According to Cameron, the upkeep of the cat will be paid for by somebody other than the taxpayer. Unless he’s paying for it, in which case we guess the taxpayer is paying for the upkeep, just not directly. But, hey, Britain’s a free country, Cameron can spend his taxpayer-funded salary however he wants.
Meanwhile, in Germany, a zoo in Delitzsch is preparing for a possible deluge of tourists and publicity, as they have Frank. Frank is a wild cat, a jaguarundi, and the oldest jaguarundi in Europe, at the ripe old age of fourteen. But that’s not what might make him Germany’s next animal celebrity. That’s his crossed eyes.
Yes, just like Heidi the cross-eyed possum, who we reported on previously, became a star, the Delitzsch zoo is hoping Frank is their ticket out of being a minor league zoo and into being a trivia question ten years from now on German game shows. No doubt helping is the fact that Frank is only fourteen miles away from Heidi, who will be helping to predict the Oscars on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night program, so a cross-eyed animal tour could be in the cards if Germany can cough up a few more.
So far, the only attention to Frank has actually come from the American media, mostly because America is the land of cat videos, but Delitzsch is hoping for some endorsement deals. Well, begging, really. At the very least they’d like somebody to make some chocolate jaguarundis. In the words of their spokesman, “Please?”
- David Cameron finally appoints a member of his Cabinet that everybody unreservedly likes. Except cat haters and the allergic, but those aren’t powerful voting blocs. (Guardian)
- Germans are hoping that a cross-eyed cat will capture the hearts of somebody beyond just nerds on the Internet and journalists looking for filler. (Time)
- In political news, if Yoweri Museveni ever gets tired of controlling Uganda with an iron fist and invading his neighbors, he could consider taking up a music career. He sang some traditional children’s folk songs at a rally after supporters requested he rap for them, and music producers mixed that with other audio of Museveni to come up with a massive club hit all across Uganda (well, except the northern part). The song, titled “You Want Another Rap?”, is for sale all over Kampala. We’ve heard it: it’s good, but it’s no “Bed Intruder”. (Yahoo!)
- And in Russia, a few Customs officers made a satirical rap video sending up corruption, complete with champagne, fancy cars, and fly shorties (that’s still current slang, right?) and posted it on YouTube. It caught the attention and ire of none other than Vladimir Putin, who felt corruption should be examined more closely in the Customs service. Putin, as a reminder, once tried to steal a Super Bowl ring by just putting it in his pocket in front of the guy who owned it and walking away. (Reuters)
- There are sixty million feral cats in the U.S. alone, and yet the Stray Cats only had three members. (Smithsonian)
- People spend $41 billion per year on our furry friends, mostly thanks to expensive vet procedures. Although the food ain’t cheap either. (BusinessWeek)