in the picture when foreign dignitaries visited Number 10, and became a national institution. He was at the centre of controversy when Prime Minister Tony Blair`s wife Cherie declared shortly after moving into Downing Street in May that cats were unhygienic, outraging the nation`s animal lovers. Within hours she was forced to repent and pose for the cameras hugging the black and white animal. Humphrey, named after a leading character in a BBC political comedy series, is now in poor health after four years fighting a kidney complaint, and is to retire to the suburban home of a Cabinet Office employee. "We are sorry that Humphrey is retiring and we wish him all the very best. We have grown very fond of him, but realise he will be better off away from the hustle and bustle of Central London," a Cabinet Office release said.