Stephen Harper looked slightly uncomfortable as he cuddled with a black kitty to mark the groundbreaking Wednesday of the new Ottawa Humane Society building.
But the Prime Minister is widely known to be a cat lover. As is his wife Laureen, who also attended the ceremony in Ottawa's south end along with their daughter Rachel, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
When it came time to address the crowd, Mr. Harper let his wife do the talking. She has been deeply involved with the Humane Society and helped raise money for the new facility.
Mrs. Harper reminded the small crowd that two of her family's cats were adopted from the Humane Society, including Stanley, the latest addition who was named with the help of the public. The whole family, she said, takes turns feeding their pets.
And when a Grade 4 class from Kingston visited 24 Sussex last week, each of the students brought donations for the Humane Society, including food and toys, she said.
The new building has been planned for five years to replace a facility that is old and overcrowded.