Treasury chief mouser Gladstone is taking a break from his Whitehall duties, it has been announced.
An announcement on the popular cat’s Instagram page said he was spending some time “remote working”.
“I’ve had such a restful holiday with one of my #HMTreasury humans that I’m going to be working from my new home for a while,” it said.
“It seems I’ve made such good progress as chief mouser that I can relax a bit for a while and try out this remote working thing.”
The announcement gave no indication of when the four-year-old would return to work, but promised updates “soon”.
The former stray – who is named for the former Liberal prime minister and four-time chancellor William Ewart Gladstone – has built a loyal following since arriving at the Treasury from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home in mid-2016.
He has amassed nearly 22,000 followers on his official Instagram page – and the news of his absence prompted an outpouring of well wishes.
“Oh Gladders! I do hope you’ll be back soon,” one commenter wrote.
“Don’t stay away too long please,” another said.
Neither the chancellor, Sajid Javid, nor Treasury permanent secretary Sir Tom Scholar have yet made a public statement responding to the announcement.
Gladstone is stepping back from his post just weeks after another of his mouser colleagues returned to work from a period of “stress leave”.
Palmerston was given some respite from his Foreign Office territory in King Charles Street in July after he was found to be over-grooming due to stress.
When he returned to Whitehall last month, he was given a smaller territory to patrol and Foreign Office staff were given a strict set of protocols to follow, including not feeding him or disturbing him during naps.