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英"御用猫"死亡

2006-03-21 00:00王高山,CRI

Humphrey, cat of scandal, dies

The black and white one-time "mouser in chief" was perhaps the most famous pet in a country of animal worshippers. "World of politics mourns a legend," headlined the Sun.

"It is true. We learnt last week that Humphrey has died," a spokesman confirmed. Humphrey was thought to be 18.

He had wandered into No. 10 Downing Street under Margaret Thatcher and remained throughout the tenure of John Major. But he was sent away to live with a civil servant in "retirement" months after Tony Blair was elected in 1997.

At the time, Conservative opponents accused Blair of having Humphrey put down because the new prime minister's wife Cherie didn't like the cat. Questions were raised. Fur flew.

"Humphrey is now a missing person. Unless I hear from him or he makes a public appearance, I suspect he has been shot," opposition Conservative politician Alan Clark declared at the time.

The government finally arranged for press photos to prove Humphrey was still alive, saying he had gone to live with a civil servant to be treated for illness.

He was photographed, hostage-like, with copies of the day's newspapers to show the pictures were fresh. Blair's office issued a statement saying Cherie was sad to see him go.

It was not the only time Humphrey had been embroiled in scandal. In 1994 the government had to issue an official denial after the cat was accused of killing a family of robins.



据路透社3月20日报道说,布莱尔的发言人证实说,“这是真的。我们上星期得到消息称,汉弗莱已经死亡”。对此,英国《太阳报》还在自己的版面上打出了“政治世界哀悼一个传奇”这样的标题。

在英国这个爱护动物的国度里,汉弗莱这只黑白相间的猫咪算得上是最为著名的宠物之一,它曾被誉为是英国首相府的“头号捕鼠器”。汉弗莱曾是一只在英国首相官邸附近游荡的流浪猫,1989年被送进内阁办公室“从事”专职灭鼠工作;1997年它“退休”时还引发了一场政治风波。

报道说,汉弗莱是在玛格利特·撒切尔担任英国首相时得以进入唐宁街10号的;在英国前任首相约翰·梅杰的任期中,汉弗莱也一直住在首相府。但是,自布莱尔1997年入主首相府之后,汉弗莱就遭到放逐,过起了“退休”生活。而这件事也一度令布莱尔政府面临政治危机。

当时,英国保守党的竞争对手指责布莱尔放逐汉弗莱是因为新任首相夫人切丽不喜欢猫。顿时,置疑声四起。当时,保守党的政客艾伦·克拉克还表示,除非他看到汉弗莱或者听到它的消息,否则他怀疑汉弗莱已经被人杀害了。

布莱尔政府为了澄清谣言,最终不得不对外发布汉弗莱的照片,以证明它依旧健在。他们还表示,已有专人负责照顾汉弗莱的起居,并且还会对它的病进行治疗。

报道说,这并不是汉弗莱第一次被卷入丑闻事件。1994年时,还有报道指责汉弗莱咬死了一窝刚出生的知更鸟,当时英国政府立即做出了澄清,称这是子虚乌有的事情。

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