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He turned to his desk and made a note: 'Treasury vote: approve increase in cat's pay.' The budget bill for a 50% increase in the cat's pay was submitted to Parliament, debated, voted on and passed: and that is how Rufus came to be known thereafter as Treasury Bill.
A cat called the Munich Mouser is mentioned as being 'in office' under Neville Chamberlain and was resident in Downing Street when Winston Churchill moved in as prime minister in May 1940; we think this cat died during 1943.
We haven't been able to find out his real name; apparently he was nicknamed the Munich Mouser, somewhat disrespectfully, by Churchill as he was a holdover from former Prime Minister Chamberlain's administration.
He was, though, treated with great kindness, as Churchill was very fond of cats.
One former Treasury cat was called Smokey, while a fine 'marmalade' tom rejoicing in the name of Rufus of England, later became better known as Treasury Bill; he served under Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald from about 1924 and was a formidable mouser and ratter.
He was said to bring his trophies to his boss, but when he found that they were being picked up and put by the rubbish bins in the hallway, he soon realised the proper procedure, and after that the cleaners would find the mice neatly laid out by the bins for them to deal with!
He was a stray, long-haired, black-and-white cat who became one of the most popular and admired cats in Great Britain.
A painting of Wilberforce can be seen at the end of this article.