Cat arrested while sneaking cellphone and saw into Brazil prison

A cat carrying a saw and a mobile phone was “detained” as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, Brazilian media reported on Saturday.

Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.

All 263 detainees in the prison of Arapiraca, a city of 215,000 people in the state of Alagoas, are considered suspect in the plot, which is being investigated by local police…

The cat was taken to an animal disease center to receive medical care.

Phew! Was he a cat burglar in his spare time?

Reconsider if being a Good Samaritan to a mouse is worth it?

A man in Oregon is severely ill in hospital with a suspected case of the plague, thought to have been contracted as he tried saving a mouse from the jaws of a stray cat in his neighbourhood.

The unnamed man, said to be in his 50s, was bitten as he attempted to extract the rodent from the cat’s mouth, although it was unclear from which animal he caught the disease.

“Taking a mouse out of a cat’s mouth is probably not a good idea,” said Emilio DeBess, the public health veterinarian for Oregon.

After falling ill with a fever a few days later, he checked into a hospital where doctors said he was exhibiting classic symptoms of the devastating 14th Century disease.

Initially he showed signs of the Bubonic plague, including swollen lymph nodes in his armpits and groin. He then had abdominal pains and bleeding – a symptom of Septicaemic plague.

The Black Death, one of the worst pandemics in human history, was caused by an outbreak of the plague, resulting in the deaths of 25 million people in Europe between 1348 and 1350…

Modern drugs can cure the disease if administered soon enough – however a vaccine for the plague is not currently sold in America. Without the inoculation, around 70 per cent of plague victims usually die within a few days of exposure…

Only four people have died from the disease since 1934.

I left in the last sentence because it’s quite wrong. We average about a half-dozen cases of bubonic plague a year in New Mexico. It’s not at all unusual for those to result in 2 or 3 deaths.

I worry more about Hantavirus; but, that’s me.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Value of memorial cat-helicopter increases tenfold

Click on the poster to see the Orville-copter || Not great for cat lovers

The value of a Dutch work of art that transformed a dead cat into a remote controlled helicopter has increased almost tenfold after generating worldwide headlines – and controversy.

Bart Jansen, the artist, is expected to turn a tidy profit after stuffing his cat Orville after it was run over by a car before attaching motors and propellers to turn his pet into an airborne work of art.

Mr Jansen had originally put a £8,000 price tag on cat helicopter, which was on display in Amsterdam as part of the KunstRai art fair but Dutch newspaper Volkskrant today reported that its value has soared.

“The work has not yet been sold but we have an offer of €100,000 on the table,” Mr Jansen’s dealer Geoffrey van Vugt told the newspaper.

The flying cat has been heavily criticised by Dutch animal lovers…Jansen said the Orvillecopter is part of a visual art project which pays tribute to his cat Orville…

Volkskrant reported that Mr Jansen decided to turn Orville into an aircraft because his pet cat and its brother Wilbur, which is still alive, had been named after the Wright brothers who invented and built the world’s first successful plane.

Some folks like to have their late companion animal around after they die. How they go about that really is just another part of the culture they live in.

Most Americans don’t know that Roy Rogers had Trigger stuffed and kept him in the living room after he died. No surprise in the American West. Though adding propellors to your late cat-companion is a bit much, I agree.

Mummified cat found walled up in witch’s cottage

Engineers have uncovered the haunting remains of a mummified cat bricked up inside the wall of a cottage near the site of one of Britain’s most infamous witch trials. Workers made the startling discovery during routine maintenance on a reservoir in the shadow of Pendle Hill in Lancashire, England’s “witching country.”

They called in archaeologists, who unearthed a cottage believed to date from the 17th century buried beneath a grassy mound. Inside, they found a sealed room where the cat had been walled up.

The area is famous for the Pendle witch trials, which saw 10 women and two men accused of using witchcraft to murder people in the 1600s.

It is thought the unfortunate feline may have been buried alive by the cottage’s superstitious inhabitants, in an attempt to protect them from evil spirits.

“It’s not often you come across a fairytale cottage complete with witch’s cat,” said Carl Sanders, project manager for water company United Utilities. “The building is in remarkable condition. You can walk through it and get a real sense that you’re peering into the past…

Simon Entwhistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, likened the find — which he said could be the Malkin Tower, site of a notorious meeting of the “coven” on Good Friday, 1612 — to “discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb.”

“We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country.

“Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches,” said Entwhistle. “Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits. It’s an absolutely spellbinding discovery.”

It’s like discovering your own little Pompei,” said Frank Giecco of NP Archaeology, who led the team which excavated the building. “We rarely get the opportunity to work with something so well preserved…

“The building is a microcosm for the rise and fall of this area, from the time of the Pendle witches to the industrial age — there are layers of local history right before your eyes.”

At a minimum, the site should be preserved for its historic value, lessons to be learned for societies and culture still trying to make it into the peace and quiet of good sense absent superstition.