World leaders and their unusual pet choices

Cats of all sizes seem to be the pet of choice by world leaders.

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife foster cats and kittens from the Ottawa Humane Society.

The UK has a long tradition of top cats. Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister of the UK during World War II, owned several cats. One cat, Jock, was a “ginger tom”, also known as a “marmalade cat.” Another of Churchill’s pets was Nelson, a black cat named Blackie. One of these cats – historical documents are contradictory – attended important meetings and sat at the dinner table while Churchill dined.

Other cats that have prowled the UK Prime Minister’s office include Wilberforce, who was “elected” with PM Edward Heath in 1970. Wilberforce

remained through the administrations of Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. The cat quit in 1987. He was succeeded by a stray the long-haired black and white named Humphrey, who retired in 1997.

After ten years of a feline-free 10 Downing street a new top cat took office In September 2007. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is happy to let Sybil, a black-and-white cat, roam the family residence and the attached Prime Minister’s offices.

The UK’s official resident cat is officially “employed” as a civil servant. The “Chief Mouser” cat is not necessarily owned outright by the Prime Minister of the UK.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev owns a cat. The castrated 4-year-old tomcat is named Dorofei (Dorotheus). Medvedev’s wife selected the pet at a cat-breeding farm.

Chechnya president Ramzan Kadyrov has a pet lion, an endangered Siberian tiger, a wolf, and a bear. (The litter box is probably room-sized.)

But where are the political pooches?

Back in Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has a pet Labrador named Koni. The dog has appeared on TV and attended official meetings.

Another first-family dog is in Australia, but she still has to share the spotlight with a cat. Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has agolden retriever,Abby, and Jasper, an oriental cat.

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