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10 in the country, where he apparently devoted his time to dominating a large dog!

He died in his sleep on and gained numerous appreciative obituaries in the press.

We haven't been able to find out his real name; apparently he was nicknamed the Munich Mouser, somewhat disrespectfully, by Churchill as he was a holdover from former Prime Minister Chamberlain's administration.

He was, though, treated with great kindness, as Churchill was very fond of cats.

A painting of Wilberforce can be seen at the end of this article.

Photo of Wilberforce above right courtesy of Dave Webster at Flickr where it can be seen full-sized.

The black-and-white feline proved to be a terrific mouser; he also outlasted several later prime ministers as well as Heath.

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The policeman on security duty at the front door of Number 10 had instructions to ring the bell for Wilberforce whenever he wanted to enter (right).It was Humphrey who really brought the position of resident mouser at Downing Street to the public's attention.He was a stray, long-haired, black-and-white cat who became one of the most popular and admired cats in Great Britain.On one occasion the cat got into a fight with a stray moggie, and while trying to part them Mrs Wilson suffered a scratch that turned septic, causing her to miss an official dinner being given for the Italian prime minister.Nemo used to accompany the Wilsons when they took their annual holiday to the Scilly Isles, off the south-west coast of Cornwall.Thatcher's chief press secretary, Bernard Ingham, said the cat caused him, as an asthmatic, some trouble when he came to work on Monday mornings as Wilberforce 'lounged on my desk over the weekend in between mouse-catching duties'.Wilberforce retired in 1986, after 13 years of loyal service, and went to live with a retired caretaker from No.There's a story that when he began to decline in his latter years, becoming thin and rather languid, the Secretary to the Treasury submitted a claim to the Lords of the Treasury that Bill's food allowance was insufficient owing to a sharp rise in the cost of living, and should be increased by at least fifty per cent.Their lordships replied that after giving 'careful consideration to the matter' they were 'unable to approve a rise'.He made great friends with the staff, who keep him supplied with his needs; and he can be tracked with an app which means that people can check on their phone at any time to see where he is!When he became prime minister in 1964 Harold Wilson took the family cat — a male sealpoint Siamese called Nemo — with him to Downing Street.

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