A feline politician - the cat that led a national UK political party

One cat has risen to lead one of the United Kingdom’s most colourful political parties. The Monster Raving Loony Party was set up in 1983 by a rock musician David Sutch, who was better-known to the public as Screaming Lord Sutch, and campaigned hard at various elections on policies including the abolition of income tax. Following the death of the party founder in 1999, the membership then met to vote for a successor.

The result was a tie between Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, who was acting leader, and his cherished pet, Cat Mandu. The cat was hailed as being responsible for producing the party’s manifesto for the general election of 2001, which consisted of a blank sheet of paper. Sadly, this new era of co-operation in British politics came to a premature end in July 2002, when Cat Mandu was killed by a car crossing the street.

But Cat Mandu lived long enough to see a lasting policy change affecting cats, arising from a proposal put forward by the Monster Raving Loony Party in 1984. Their proposal for pet passports was laughed at by all the mainstream parties at that stage. And yet these were introduced by the British government in 2001 and now cats can travel to the United Kingdom from Europe and a number of other countries without having to spend time in quarantine.

Cat Mandu is just one of cats featured in my book Famous Felines, available here from the Pet Info Club shop .

There are no ordinary cats .
Colette (1873-1954), French novelist

Striking colours

Cats have been bred in a wide variety of stunning colours and subtle shades as well, not to mention the striking patterning of tabbies and tortoiseshells, and that associated with Siamese and similar breeds.
Colour variants are most evident in pure-bred cats, whose appearance has been refined by selective breeding over generations.

Sometimes however, you can see ordinary moggies with a very striking and distinctive appearance, such as this particular cat from Poland. Its silvery colouration is the result of the relatively even intermingling of black and white hairs in its coat.