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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Petrified postmen refusing to deliver after three savage letterbox attacks... by Snowball the cat (who is just 10ins tall)

By Jamie Mcginnes Terrified postmen are refusing to deliver mail to a house after being repeatedly attacked - by a tiny CAT. Three-year-old Snowball stands just 10 inches tall and is described as 'harmless and playful' by her owner Ian Wilkinson. But Mr Wilkinson, 46, was shocked when he received a letter from Royal Mail informing him his beloved pet was a 'health and safety risk' after a postman's finger was scratched while putting mail through the letterbox. 'Harmless': Ian Wilkinson was shocked when he received a letter from Royal Mail saying Snowball was a health and safety risk Royal Mail claimed Snowball posed an 'unacceptably high level of risk' and was a 'potential hazard'. It said three postmen have been attacked with one suffering 'quite deep' cuts to a finger after delivering to Mr Wilkinson’s home in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Following a complaint by one of its staff, Royal Mail did a health and safety assessment and decided it was too risky to deliver post to his home. Officials said deliveries would be suspended until Mr Wilkinson finds a way to stop Snowball mauling its postmen or an 'alternative safe delivery point' is put in place. Mr Wilkinson, a computer analyst, said: 'It’s utterly ridiculous. 'Everyone at work thinks it is hilarious - they have started calling her Ninja Cat and even Photoshopped her holding a Kalashnikov. 'Ninja Cat': 'Royal Mail claims Snowball poses an 'unacceptably high level of risk' 'I have never seen her attack a person. Sometimes she sniffs people’s feet when they come over for dinner - that’s as vicious as she gets.' The divorced father-of-one added: 'She happily plays with next door’s animals and she wouldn’t hurt a fly. 'It’s not like she is a huge great Alsatian or a Doberman - she’s just a sweet little cat who is just inquisitive and playful. 'She is absolutely harmless. It’s all a bit bizarre.' Royal Mail claimed Snowball managed to manoeuvre her way past the letterbox’s two spring-loaded covers and double brush guard to attack its postmen. But Mr Wilkinson said added: 'You have to stretch to even get your hand through the letterbox. 'At worst, this is just a cat wanting to play with someone wiggling their fingers through it. 'Although I acknowledge that my cat is a very intelligent animal, she is not able to lift up a spring loaded flap, keep it open, push her paw through a double brush guard and maul an unsuspecting delivery person in the time it take to delivery of the letter.' Mr Wilkinson, who has not had any post for the past week, has now put a cage around the letterbox and hopes this will be enough for Royal Mail to resume its service. Bemused: Ian Wilkinson hopes post will resume after he put a cage around his letterbox He said: 'I respect postmen come out in all sorts of weather conditions, but they are in serious danger of making the Post Office a laughing stock.' Neighbour Glenys Armstrong, 54, said: 'Snowball is a lovely cat and friendly. 'I can’t imagine her ever attacking anybody.' After originally receiving a letter on November 15 last year stating Snowball was a 'potential hazard', Mr Wilkinson wrote back for clarification but only received a response from Royal Mail delivery office manager Jamie Clarke last Thursday. Mr Clarke explained how a 'delivery officer' had been injured while trying to deliver a packet on the afternoon of March 28. He said: 'When they opened the letterbox your cat clawed out via the letterbox and cut our delivery officers (sic) finger quite deep. 'This is the third such incident. As a result it has been found that the level of risk is unacceptably high.' A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: 'There are around 4,000 animal attacks a year on Royal Mail people. 'These attacks cause great distress and in too many cases serious injuries. 'If we feel that there is a risk from any animal we are committed to working with the customer to agree simple steps to ensure that we can deliver the mail safely.' It emerged this week that Royal Mail had refused to deliver letters and parcels to four streets in Penkridge, Staffordshire, after a postman had tripped on the pavement. Deliveries were halted due to health and safety reasons, forcing residents to make a 14-mile round trip to collect their mail. source:dailymail


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