I have an insane amount of stories in my weird news queue. And at the moment, no less than seven stories in that queue involve cats. So, I’ve decided to reject one as not being really weird, and go and write them into an article. So, here goes. And, for what it’s worth, two of these stories involve crime.
Narnia, Britain’s first “Cat Cafe” opens.
Quoth cafe owner Liz Dyer: “The cats are my own. I chose cats that were friendly, inquisitive and sociable. We were able to ensure that in the critical stage, eight weeks before opening, they were given a lot of positive human contact. The cats are now so friendly and used to people that they will often rush up to greet new customers immediately.”It costs £2 for half an hour, and people stay from half an hour to several hours. It’s open from 10-4, Tuesday to Saturday. The other 138 hours of the week, the cats live with Liz, so Liz has to carry them around in baskets. But it’s all good. According to her, “But they associate the baskets with fun now, not with vet trips.”
The humans who come can order drinks and snacks, bonding with each other over a love of cats and waiting for them to come. They are friendly, but one cat, Lilac, has been known to steal, so watch out for her.
However, Liz Dyer claims to have had that taken care of : “They have their own luxury accommodation back in our garden, a large chalet with its own garden and aerial tree runs. On a sunny day we’ll often see all six of them lying on their backs in a row, sunbathing.”
Orphaned kitten mothered by bulldog.
Recently, a 2-week old kitten named Tigger was found alone and abandoned in a church. Since you can’t train a kitten to ring the bells, the person who found him handed him over to Arvonia Vets in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Nurse-in-training Clare Evans took him home, and one of her other pets took a shine to Tigger: a bulldog named Harley. Quoth Clare: “From the moment I took Tigger back to mine Harley completely tried to take over the care of him. She washes him and lets him cuddle up, and now she’s producing milk and feeding him. She can be quite a moody so-and-so and I never thought she would be this way with him.” It should be noted that Harley cannot bear pups due to a tumor. So, like a scene from Like Water For Chocolate mixed with those Looney Tunes cartoons with Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot, biology be damned, Harley started lactating, and Tigger buries himself in Harley’s skin to keep warm.
And in return, Harley protects Tigger from Clare’s other dogs, a mastiff named Yogi, and an Alsatian named Kya. However, even Yogi has gotten parental, and, under close supervision from Harley, even gives Tigger a tonguebath on occasion.Quoth Clare: “Yogi sort of acts like a father towards Tigger, so I’m pretty sure that kitten will grow up rather confused. Kya meanwhile can’t get anywhere near Tigger at all.”
Clare’s parents and next-door neighbours Christine and Alan Evans have promised to take Tigger in. Quoth Clare: “We thought it would be too distressing to separate them completely and my boys were quite taken and didn’t want to lose him either. They are thrilled nan and granddad have decided to take him in.”
And you were curious about what the page image is, weren’t you?
From Maunsel House in Somerset, Sir Benjamin Slade, 7th Baronet, is on a mission to protect himself and the public from a big cat he claims is stalking his estate. In fact, he hopes he can one day mount its head on the walls of the 13th century manor he calls home.
He fears the creature will kill a visitor if it’s not shot, and, to this end, has put up signs all around the 98 acre estate, saying things like “Beware the Big Cat! Keep dogs in cars!”
Sir Benjamin has named it the Beast of North Newton, after the nearest village, and says of it: “I think it is bigger than most cats, probably bigger than a puma. When I saw the photo, it was visibly huge. The grass in the picture is two-and-a-half foot high. We need to get this thing shot because it may kill a young child or dog. Plus, I need the head to put in my collection.” He claims to have seen it before, lurking behind a postbox, and several piles of feathers have been found on the estate, along with a dead fox’s remains. And there could even be cubs. And anyone who knows about wild animals should know this could make animals even more violent.
And one day, the Beast of North Newton got got the break all legendary creatures dream of: Blurry photographic evidence. Tom Baker, a staffer of 25, snapped a photo of the beast on his mobile phone while taking out trash. Quoth Not-The-Tom-Baker: “I saw something about 150 metres away and didn’t know if it was a deer, but it looked strange. I zoomed in and took the images. It certainly looks like a big cat. I have no other explanation for it.”
According to Danny Bamping of the British Big Cats Society, there have been a good number of sightings of big cats in Somerset in the past year.
Quoth Baronet Slade: “I’ve put up signs to warn people and people have been keeping their dogs in their cars and haven’t let their children walk off in case they don’t come back. I have a wedding business to run here too. Luckily the guests make a bit of noise so this creature hopefully won’t come near. But they might get gobbled up if they wander off.”
However, he admitted the picture is still inconclusive: “They don’t exactly stand still and pose, which is the problem.” He plans that, the next time remains are found, he will send and hair and droppings found nearby away for analysis.
The Ancient Egyptians revered cats. There was a huge revival in ancient Egyptian history in the Victorian era. These are the only two things I think I can say to set up the fact that a family in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, has found a mummified cat on their property. Melanie and Ian Bruce were doing renovation on their house, and found a mummified cat under the floorboard. However, Melanie Bruce has fallen in love with it, and thinks it may be good luck. Quoth Bruce: “It’s not leaving the house. Everyone says the house has a lovely feel to it. I think Tutan-cat-mun is partly responsible for that. We initially placed it in an old-fashioned pram in the cellar. Eventually we might place it in a glass frame next to the door. Or we might put it under the bathroom when we carry out work to renovate that room – back where it came from, so to speak.” ‘Tutan-cat-mun’ has been well preserved. In fact, many features are still visible.
Killer Convicted with cat hair database.
Many different databases of human fingerprints have been set up in the past century and has been used to convict murderers. But this is a first: A national cat hair database has been used to convict David Hilder of Hampshire, after cat hairs found on the torso of Hampshire man David Guy matched hair found on Hilder’s cat Tinker.
As of right now, only 152 cats are in the database, collected by University of Leicester scientists, but already it’s been used to secure a conviction.
Quoth Project leader Dr Jon Wetton: “This is the first time cat DNA has been used in a criminal trial in the UK. This could be a real boon for forensic science, as the 10 million cats in the UK are unwittingly tagging the clothes and furnishings in more than a quarter of households.”
In July, 8 cat hairs matching Tinker’s were found on the torso of Mr. Guy after he was found wrapped in a curtain on a Southsea beach. Among 492 cats in an American database, the DNA was unique, and after 23 cats in Southsea and 129 from the rest of the country, it was confirmed that the DNA was rare. Scientists hope the cat DNA database can be built up over time. Quoth Wetton: “Within each cat hair are two types of DNA, individual-specific ‘nuclear DNA’ detectable in the roots of some larger hairs, and ‘mitochondrial DNA’ which is shared by all maternally-related individuals and can be found even in the finest hair shafts. Animal DNA offers a way of linking people to places and items through the transfer of their pet’s hairs.”
A real-life cat burglar.
Norris Windsor’s dad Richard Windsor said, of Norris’ new lifestyle: “He was well behaved up to the age of one, then he turned to a life of petty crime. Over the last four months, he has really started to up his game. Initially it was dusters and dish cloths but this has now intensified to clothes, including bras, pants and T-shirts.” Norris, by the way, is a tabby. He has gotten into the habit of stealing from neighbours’ gardens, washing lines, and is willing to break in, if the family in question has a catflap in their home. His M.O. is as follows: he works at night whenever possible, and drags his booty through his cat flap, and leaves it at the door, then meows to attract his owners.
Richard and his wife, Sophie, have sent letters to their neighbours in Bedminster, Bristol explaining their tabby’s behaviour. Quoth Richard: “At first we thought it was funny. But as his stash grew and the items got bigger we thought we needed to return them. Fortunately our neighbours have been good natured. We have started to ignore him when he comes in meowing with his goodies. We hope he’ll stop doing it.” Norris’