‘Mr Tiddles moved in last year’, says our Downing Street insider.
‘At first he spent his day hacking up fur balls, licking the jelly off his cat-food and snuggling up to the radiator but then he started to make policy suggestions.’
Having gone from chief mouser to chief adviser, Mr Tiddles now has his own tiny chamber at Number 10 and offers to consult members of the cabinet.
As we waited expectantly outside his little doorway, an anxious health minister whispered: ‘Consider this: Mr Tiddles, who now likes to be called The Furry One, dresses up in a white robe and expects us to come bearing gifts. The atmosphere is very reverent in there – whatever you do don’t make eye contact with him. He’s like the pope, except the pope, as far as I’m aware, doesn’t lick his bum hole in the middle of the carpet.’
When we crawled into his room, taking care not to bang our heads on the tiny chandelier, Mr Tiddles offered us his paw and then spread out a pack of cards. With a trembling hand the health minister took one. On one side was written: ‘The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away’; on the other: ‘You’re not paying me enough’.
If promising to deliver thousands of extra doctors and an open cheque book while there’s a £30 billion deficit and a desperate need for efficiency savings seems confusing, then it probably is.
And there’s a very good reason for it. It was suggested by a cat who wears papal garments and has the cruel look of someone who’s eaten a mouse’s brain for breakfast.
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen