Tuesday, June 22, 2004

When city people visit the country
A fat house cat has been terrorizing southern France. If I was a conservative, I would be cackling with glee and making cowardly French jokes. But because I am a liberal I must pass it on with a painfully sincere call to fight this tragic epidemic of pet obesity. I will never forgive the Bush administration for taking the joy out of France bashing.
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) -- The southern French city of Marseille called off a three-week hunt for a black panther on Tuesday after the animal sighted by several residents turned out to be a large house cat.

"The 'panther' is just a black house cat -- a very big one though," said a spokeswoman for the local prefecture, adding the animal was about 24 inches long and weighed some 22 pounds.

Police deployed dozens of searchers this month after reports that a black panther was roaming around the nearby Calanques area, popular with tourists for its creeks, rocks and beaches.

Searchers finally caught up with the animal and identified it as a cat but were still unable to catch it, the spokeswoman added.

My Mehitabel, a svelte ten-pound black cat, is feeling very proud of her kin.

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