Downing Street state rooms to host event to help pay for famous feline's upkeep to uphold promise not to use public purse.
Larry the Downing Street cat in the cabinet room. A quiz fundraiser is to be held for his upkeep.
Until now, David Cameron's staff have made their own contribution to the Big Society by paying for Larry's upkeep.
A special quiz night is reportedly being held in Downing Street, to provide for a furry neet, conspicuously not in education, employment or training, since he can usually be seen asleep on or under a chair at No 10.
A No 10 spokesman said cautiously: "I'm afraid we cannot confirm staff events," but the quiz for Downing Street staff is said to be happening in the state rooms, to raise funds for rations for Larry the cat.
When Larry, a rescue cat from Battersea dogs and cats home, moved in last spring, No 10 promised that he would be a community cat, not a drain on the public purse. The commitment is solemnly recorded on the official Downing Street website, under the magnificent heading "Prime minister's meeting with Russian foreign secretary Lavrov, AV Bill, MoD email sackings, inflation and Larry the cat".
Larry was invited to join the team soon after a large rat was spotted trotting calmly across the No 10 doorstep, clearly visible in the background of a television news report.
He is the latest in a procession of Downing Street cats as long as the line of prime ministerial portraits along the staircase, including Wilberforce, renowned as a mouser, who outlasted several prime ministers and is said to have been bought a tin of sardines by Margaret Thatcher on an official visit to Moscow.
The most famous recent incumbent was the magnificently whiskered Humphrey, a stray who was given the official title of mouser to the Cabinet Office, and provoked a habeas corpus scandal when he was alleged to have been exiled or even assassinated because Cherie Blair disliked cats. The late contrarian Tory MP Alan Clark demanded in parliament that the government either produce his body or prove he was still alive: Humphrey was duly photographed posing with the daily newspapers. Humphrey died in peaceful retirement at the home of a civil servant in 2006, aged 18.
Larry came highly recommended as a mouser, but questions have been raised about his area of special responsibility, since it reportedly took him more than two months to catch his first mouse.
Downing Street declined to comment on the scurrilous suggestion on the PoliticsHome blog that Larry is involved in a clandestine relationship with Maisie, the cat from the park keeper's cottage at St James's. At least he is unlikely to add absent father to his list of crimes: that possibility is believed to have been forestalled by Battersea before he was handed over.