Catmando (1995–2002; also spelt "Cat Mandu") was a cat who served as joint leader of Britain's Official Monster Raving Loony Party (OMRLP) from 1999 to 2002, along with his owner, Howling Laud Hope. He is the only cat ever to have been named leader of a political party.
Cat Mandu and Howling Laud Hope
|Leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party|
Serving with Howling Laud Hope
|Preceded by||Screaming Lord Sutch|
Mytchett, Surrey, England
|Political party||Official Monster Raving Loony Party|
Following the 1999 death of the party's founder, Screaming Lord Sutch, the OMRLP held a leadership election with Alan "Howling Laud" Hope (who was then the party's chairman and deputy leader) and Catmando as the only two candidates. The vote was a tie, with Hope and Catmando each receiving 125 votes. Hope, as the party chairman, had the deciding vote, and decided that he and Catmando should serve as joint leaders.
As joint leader, Catmando oversaw the greatest electoral performance the OMRLP had seen to date, fielding 15 candidates in the 2001 general election. Catmando served as joint leader until his death as a result of a traffic accident in July 2002. Hope then became the party's sole leader.
Following Catmando's death, the party proposed that there should be cat-crossings at all major roads.
Catmando was originally called "Catman". His name was changed after a customer at the Golden Lion (Hope's pub and guesthouse in Ashburton, Devon) asked a music question which Hope couldn't answer; the customer commented: "I bet Catman do [know the answer]". Consequently, he became "Catmando".
The cat later moved with Hope to the Dog and Partridge public house in Yateley, Hampshire. Gurkhas, stationed nearby at Aldershot, were intrigued by a name that sounded like the Nepalese capital Kathmandu; subsequently the cat became the subject of a front-page feature in the Nepali Times. The "Cat Mandu" spelling became common through media misinterpretation, but Hope has confirmed that "Catmando" is the correct spelling.
One of the OMRLP proposed laws is that no other cat shall be called "Catmando" as there can only be one.
- HOWLING LAUD HOPE Pt 7 - Catmando (Cat Mandu) - The real spelling YouTube, 30 November 2010; retrieved 1 December 2010
- "POLITICAL CAT FIGHT ENDS IN DRAW FOR LOONIES". The Toronto Star. 25 September 1999. Retrieved 18 April 2010.[dead link]
- Stall, Sam (2007); 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Felines, pp.69,70. Quirk Books. ISBN 1-59474-163-8
- Loonies choose cat as joint leader, BBC News, 24 September 1999
- Byrnes, Sholto (6 October 2004). "The lunatic fringe". The Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- Malvern, Jack (7 August 2002). "Mandu". The Times. Retrieved 18 April 2010.[dead link]
- The 2001 Election in Pictures: Laud Hope and Cat Mandu The Guardian, 21 May 2001
- Publican shares Loony leader's role with a cat The Independent, 25 September 1999
- Cat pushes for prime minister guardian.co.uk, 21 May 2001
- Loonies choose cat as joint leader BBC News, 24 September 1999
|Party political offices|
Screaming Lord Sutch
| Official Monster Raving Loony Party Leader
With: Howling Laud Hope
Howling Laud Hope