Not all the news these days is dispiriting. Over in London, members of Parliament are asking that a cat be deployed in the Houses of Parliament, to fight a mouse infestation, the Telegraph reports.
President Trump may or may not have said that the White House is a "dump," but many MPs believe that their iconic building is one. There have even been proposals for Parliament to meet elsewhere for several years while Westminster Palace (the official name) is refurbished. It was built over several years in the nineteenth century after a fire in 1834 destroyed the previous palace except for part of St. Stephen's Chapel, where Parliament met from 1547. You can still see its remnants to your left just after you walk through the public entrance.
The mouse infestation apparently began after renovation work was started in 2016, which has also temporarily silenced the bell of Big Ben. The feline lobby has members from both major parties. Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt brought her cat Titania to work, and tweeted, "A great believer in feline deterrence, I'm employing the principle to the lower ministerial corridor mouse problem."
But officials told her that no animals are allowed in the building but service dogs. Labour MP Wes Streeter told the Telegraph, "Luckily, my part of the building isn't infested with mice, but it's time to stop pussy-footing around. Lots of staffers are scaredy cats when it comes to mice. A parliamentary cat might not be a purrfect solution, but after a summer of silly season stories about the Tory leadership, this is definitely the Mogg"—a reference to Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg—"we've been looking for."
Some members noted that Number 10 Downing Street and the nearby Foreign Office both have cats, which have been videotaped fighting. So Conservative MP Stella Creasey made perhaps the key point when she told colleagues, "I for one will be joining the cross-party efforts for feline membership of Parliament—not just for the mice, it's YouTube gold in waiting!"