Political Animals (I)

Anecdotes and trivia about of the Presidents and Prime Ministers favorite pets from our recent History.

About 2350 years ago Aristotle defined man as a political animal (zoon politikon) which unlike animal has the ability to relate politically, create societies and organize life in cities. Although both man and animals are  social and those who don´t , beasts or gods… He said some very interesting things we could actually use to society today because we would find the North quickly and more at such election years as it has been and it will be 2015 and 2016 for most countries where you read us.

Aristotle Bust.

GREAT BRITAIN: Pets in Downing Street 
The Chief Mouser  would be created in 1924. As the official cat called in 10 Downing Street. In fact, the Treasury ordered a special budget for a cat who catch rats who coming from the Thames. At that time a daily penny was prepared for the expenses of the animal. The first cat to play such an important position, (I’m not kidding, plus borne diseases rats gnaw paper and there are no files of vital importance to the government of Great Britain) was Rufus  of England, better known as Treasury Bill.

Winston Churchill in his car with his wife and his dog Rufus.

Winston Churchill had a passion for cats, so much so that he said: «The dogs look at us like gods, horses as equals, but cats look at us as their subjects». He had three Chief Mouser and a poodle.

Margaret Thatcher during her  presidency had a cat named «Humphrey». She adopted him,  after she  see him loitering near the Official Residence in London. And when she left Office, his successor, John Major, inherited Humphrey  as a part of the National Heritage. Tony Blair did the same when he succeeded Major as Prime Minister and even had to explain in Parliament about his disappearance for weeks. Humphrey was about to be hit by the presidential Cadillac Bill Clinton on an official visit to London.

El gato Humphrey estuvo a punto de ser atropellado por Clinton
Humphrey at the door of 10 Downing Street.

The budget available to the Chief Mouser´s   maintenance is £ 100 a year. They say most of it going on feed. During the post of Humphrey, leaving them even more profitable and not the £ 4,000 a year to be paid in charge of exterminating the pests that have killed not recorded any rat or mouse. 

Larry es el gato de David Cameron
Larry. David Cameron´s Cat.

If the English believe that a cat stays with 100 pounds a year, not for me to pull them out of questions especially when the Minister of Finance and Treasury responsible work so close to the cat in question. Larry is now the cat that was adopted by the Cameron family who occupies that position. They´ve even celebrated their first birthday with a fabulous party.

Larry and Freya Fight.

It seems that Larry settled his good life and stopped hunting, was fired for dereliction of his duties and replaced by Freya a cat with gorgeous resume for the position, proposed by the Finance Minister, George Osborne. Freya and Larry lived until after a fight in the Downing Street at which had to be separated by a police officer, Larry Hunter turned his momentum and since then has not stopped surprising. Freya was fired in 2014.

We know that in Spain all Heads of Government from Adolfo Suarez, have had dogs at least on occasion during his tenure. However there is little tradition of communicating what the presidential pets are, so I appreciated the gesture from the other day that Rajoy in his 24 hours with Ana Rosa Quintana showed the dog who gave his children when he arrived at La Moncloa. 

Ana Rosa Quintana saluda al perro de Rajoy. Captura de Pantalla: Telecinco
Mariano Rajoy presents to Ana Rosa Quintana his dog Rico. (Photo: Telecinco)

It is a pity that the President Zapatero can only count as anecdote service employees (officials) of La Moncloa had to plant because they were fed up with functions that don´t correspond to them as take the dogs.

President Aznar loves dogs out to play sports with them when he lived in La Moncloa he educated occupy three cats – Manolo, Margarita and Lucas – who   occupied the presidential residence. Some people say that one of the Aznar´s dogs gave a bite to Clinton on a visit.

José María Aznar pasea por la playa con dos de sus perros
José María Aznar walking along the beach with two of his dogs

President Felipe Gonzalez had during his stay in Moncloa at least one Spanish water dog that was given to him when the breed was officially recognized and that the President reminded images of southern Andalusia. I don´t know if Glez. -like Umbral used to wrote – will be so excited of knowing  Carmen Castilla, the leading Andalusian UGT  name all his dogs Felipe, for him.

In Argentina the peerless Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is very fond of dogs. A little news and less done in Argentina where the percentage of people with pets is 78% higher than Chile with 71%, Mexico 54%, Brazil 44% and Colombia with 35%. The anecdotal is that she feel very proud that Hugo Chavez had given him a Mucuchies puppy, national breed of Venezuela and which  accompanied Simon Bolivar in all his battles.

Cristina Kirchner presented to Argentina, Simon her dog from Venezuela.

The ineffable Pepe Mujica, has composed for his dog  the Cuplé of Manuela and Pepe. Manuela was  picked  up  by Mujica from the street and is lame in one leg. Dilma Rousseff will have to expand the campaign launched to find her labrador name. «Something» tells me that will not be enough  naming all the mini zoo who rode Carlos Menem in  Los Olivos when he did the renovation for 10 million dollars.

Rarely presidents of Costa Rica had received animals as a gift, but much less a pig. In a agricultural fair a girl gave President of Costa Rica a little pig called Daniela who is now part of presidential pets and is very famous in the country.

The Daniela pig. Presidential Pet of Costa Rica.

Vladimir Putin is known dog lover. He has Buff, a Bulgarian shepherd  Yume his Akita Inuand and Connie, his old labrador, who has seen many very important meetings. Because of their age Connie is secluded from the rest of their pets and live in quiet retirement.

One of these meetings was in 2007 with Angela Merkel, which is known his phobia of dogs. Some evil-minded say that it was not fortuitous that Connie was at the meeting and it was a ploy to distract her. Look at the picture and judge for yourself. The dog was the most affectionate with German Chancellor even put his nose into the lap of Mrs. Merkel and sat at her feet causing him great discomfort.

Ángela Merkel and Vladimir Putin with Connie.

During the Cold War, Nikita Khrushchev gave Pushinka to John F. Kennedy accepted the dog delighted, despite his allergy to dogs, it was no time for slights that minimum may seem.

Small details… do you think those who organize these meetings and gifts that are measured at milímietro don´t fall ? Doesnt it can send many messages to the world through political animal and not by carrier pigeon?

(Featured ImageLarry walking around the table of the Council of Ministers.)

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