Wednesday 19 January 2011

Ladies and Kittens of the Jury...

This is a great, not-remotely-literary story I saw here on Yahoo! news...

A tabby cat has been selected for jury duty in the US after his owners registered him on a state census form.

The bizarre letter was sent to the cat, which was listed in the pets section of the census, by a court in Boston, Massachusetts calling on him for duty.

Cat owners Anna and Guy Esposito wrote to the court asking the family pet, named Sal, to be excused from service because he doesn't speak or understand English.

Mrs Esposito reportedly included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was a 'domestic short-haired neutered feline' and not human.

However, the request for the cat's exemption was refused by a jury commissioner and Mrs Esposito was told that Sal 'must attend' Suffolk Superior Crown Court.

She said: "When they ask him guilty or not guilty, what's he supposed to say - meow?"

"Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix-up."

The Daily Mail reported that Sal could have accidentally ended up on the juror list when paperwork was misread at the last census.

According to the Massachusetts judicial branch website, US citizens who 'do not speak and understand English sufficiently well may be disqualified.'

If Sal's application for disqualification is denied, the cat is expected in court on 23 March.


  1. HAHA!! Only in America! Sometimes I feel so ashamed for my kinsmen.

    That really made my night!

  2. Really? Why is there even a SECTION on the census for pets??!!

  3. I'm sure Si that Sherpa could "sniff out a wrongun". If the "Napoleon of Crime" is a cat (Macavity) I'm not why this fine feline couldn't find the felons of America!

  4. This "cat" has done jury service in Scotland.

  5. Are you kidding me? This cant be serious..and I cant believe there is even a debate on this!

  6. Daniel - Let's see it as the US in the frontline for animal rights, instead!

    Mystica - I can imagine the bureaucracy in the UK being similar...

    Read the Book - That's what I thought! It doesn't seem hugely useful...

    Dad - maybe she should! But they'd have to have nap breaks, and make sure nobody moved too quickly, otherwise they'd be pounced on.

    DP - well, there you go - a precedent :) Is it as dull as it looks?

    Vipula - I do love that the jury service people continued the argument!

  7. That story very nearly beats one I heard a while ago about a vulture who was mistaken for an Israeli spy by Saudi "intelligence"! Some days I think my kitty will have a far more glamorous career than I...


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