Wednesday, May 09, 2007

canada cuddle cat can't countenance carrier

John Samborski's cat, Shadow, is accused of scaring away letter carriers.
THROUGH rain, sleet or snow, sure. But the mail doesn't get through when Shadow the house cat is around. Unfortunately for Shadow's owner, John Samborski, the animal's the reason a postal carrier refuses to deliver mail directly to a Winterton Avenue bungalow.
Thursday, Samborski received a notice from Canada Post stating due to Shadow's alleged growling, carriers will no longer deliver mail to the home of the declawed feline. The letter states due to "unsafe access" for carriers, Samborski will have to pick up mail at a Nairn Avenue postal outlet about four kilometres away until other arrangements are made with Canada Post.

"This is ridiculous. When we got the letter, we were like, 'What is this?' " said Samborski, 41, a material controller at a Winnipeg factory. He and his partner, who did not want her name used, both said they were shocked about the Canada Post letter concerning their eight-year-old cat.
"This is Shadow. He likes to eat and sleep and cuddle. You could drop a bomb and he'd just open one eye, take a look, then close them and go back to sleep," said Samborski.

The feline lounged lazily on the front lawn of Samborski's home Thursday afternoon, napping in the sun and rolling on its back when visitors approached, nuzzling their hands. The cat remained silent during a visit from a Winnipeg Free Press reporter. Samborski said he called a Canada Post telephone number listed on the one-page notice delivered to their house and talked to a supervisor, but remained flummoxed about allegations Shadow hid under their porch stairs and growled at postal workers.

Samborski said Shadow spends some time outside. However, he said, Shadow's never had any problems with anyone -- including children who live in the neighbourhood or Duke, a large Weimaraner dog who lives in the same home. "I'm angry; we don't have the time for this," he said. "We're not putting our carriers at risk."

A spokeswoman for Canada Post said the federal Crown corporation takes the safety of postal carriers very seriously. "The letter carrier who delivers mail there, you know, she was brought up on a farm, she is very comfortable with animals. Apparently this is a very threatening cat," said spokeswoman Kathi Neal.

Neal said the regular postal carrier did not go to Shadow's house on Thursday, and her supervisor went instead to drop off the notice and to ask Samborski to call the depot to work out a resolution.
"This is a last resort. What we would do is send out a notice... that would invite the customer to call the depot and sort the matter out, or failing that, we will stop delivery to that address," she said.
A neighbour said there is a small group of aggressive cats who run amok on Winterton Avenue due to careless owners, but Shadow isn't one of them. [my emphasis]

Cat attacks on letter carriers are extremely rare, but they do happen, according to Ken Hatch. The longtime letter carrier once stepped over a sleeping cat while delivering mail in the West End and accidentally startled the animal awake.
"It jumped up and twisted in the air and bit me on the back of the calf," said Hatch, who was left with "four little puncture wounds" from the irate feline.
with file from Lindsey Wiebe

NB: This post forms part serving of my Community Treatment Order after I made my usual smartarse slightly lighthearted jibes about Lenny's illness over at Elsie D'Where