Saturday, September 19, 2009

Comcast To Offer Customer Service Options In LOLcat Language



Seattle, WA

In a press release today, Comcast Cable Corporation announced it will offer a new language option for customers living in Washington State. LOLcat will be added to the phone tree as option three for all incoming customer service calls and will be available for live LOLcat customer service chat.

Over the years, Comcast has received numerous complaints, mostly in written form, from cats regarding the lack of accessibility for LOLcat-only speakers. “It is one thing if you can speak good English,” said Cheddar, a 3-year-old Domestic Short Hair male from Auburn, “but if you are like my brother Diesel, who speaks only LOLcat, there really needed to be some concessions made.”


Customer service representatives greet clients with “O hai, wat kan i doos fur uz todai?”

Many cats have voiced their concerns over the lack of LOLcat interpretation services from many types of businesses. LOLcat-only speaking cats have trouble ordering pizzas, asking simple banking questions, and with Comcast specifically, ordering pay-per-view services or upgrading services from their local Comcast provider.

“I once wanted to order a WWF event.” Cheddar’s brother Diesel said. “I couldn’t get past the first phone menu when I called to order it. Now, I simply listen and press option three for LOLcat and I can easily get the help and services I need from a live customer service agent. That type of service is unprecedented, they really went above and beyond for us.”


Diesel said that Comcast has gone “above and beyond” his expectations as a customer

Comcast said in a press release that this is to be a one-year beta test for the Washington State area, but that if they have good results with the new language option they will consider a similar test in other states. Comcast also is expanding the Spanish language customer service coverage in its state-of-the-art, fast-paced, 24/7 customer service department.


Comcast representatives have been trained to end all LOLcat customer calls with the traditional “k thx bai.”

Currently there are to be six ways to contact customer service with the new LOLcat language interface. Cats can use an interactive Q&A tool online, specially formatted in LOLcat. They may enter live chat with an LOLcat-speaking service representative, use the Online Forum, send an email to the LOLcat service department, visit the LOLcat customer service center in Lynnwood, or use the new LOLcat-ready phone lines at 1-800-COMCAST.

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photos: Random

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Large Hairball Found In Park May Be Mostly Grass


Edmonds, WA

The remains of a large, crusty, hairball found today in an Edmonds park are probably that left by Big Daddy Pepper, a 10-year-old, neutered, Domestic Long Hair, who was already facing vandalism charges stemming from allegations that he maliciously chewed up grass and threw it up in public.

Big Daddy Pepper disappeared into Marina Park on Friday night with a full stomach after bathing and was believed to be entering the park specifically to eat grass.

A retired donut-maker, who did not want to be named, walking in the park early this morning located the large, unsightly hairball and immediately notified Edmonds Police.


Big Daddy Pepper is thought to have left the state

Officials did not reveal the intended motive of the incident, and Officer Larry David told the Gazette that authorities were still fervently trying to identify the contents of the hairball.

''This is a terrifying thing to find, and we believe it was deliberately thrown up here by its owner,'' said Bandit, a 3-year-old, spayed, Calico, who heads the small C.S.I. team. ''It is disgusting to think that someone out there is using the park as their own private garbage can.''

Law-enforcement officials searched the park for Big Daddy Pepper for hours before finally calling off the search around 8:00a.m. One witness is said to have given a 'very accurate' description of the hairball to a police sketch artist.


Bandit said she was “disgusted…”

Results of preliminary chemical analysis show the hairball to most-likely contain 76% grass and/or crab grass, 13% hair, 7% missing puzzle pieces, and 4% mint-flavored dental floss.

Hairballs are common to the park and other parks around the city. They can sometimes weigh 25 to 100 pounds and are considered extremely dangerous when provoked.

In rare cases, evil, scary hairballs have been found. All share customary traits; they can be hairy, unruly, and hideous creatures with sharp teeth, dirty nails, and bloodshot eyes. The hairballs can be either big and horrific, or small and terrifying, not unlike Humans.


One witness provided police with this sketch of the mysterious hairball

The Edmonds Parks Department estimated there have been about 40 to 50 hairballs reported in Marina Park in the past 6 to 8 months, meaning the total number of hairballs being discovered is on the rise.

Big Daddy Pepper, who is known to residents of the area, is thought to have fled to another state to avoid arrest. His family later issued a statement saying they feared he was to blame.

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photos: Thanks to Callie for Bandit

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bag Of Garbage Seen Wandering ‘Probably Homeless,’ Neighbors Say


Lynnwood, WA

Locals say a half-filled, black, Hefty Drawstring Garbage Bag seen prowling the 181st and 67th Avenue area this past week was most likely homeless.

The bag was spotted hiding near a tomato plant this past Monday and was last seen scurrying across the street on Friday night.

“We know he isn’t local,” said Max, a 12-year-old, neutered, Ginger Domestic Short Hair, who has lived in the area with his wife, Bianca, for the past 9 years. “Everyone around here uses cans, either metal or plastic, so a guy like that kinda...well, sticks out, you know what I mean?”


Max and his wife, Bianca saw the garbage bag

Cats who live in the small cul-de-sac have all reported things missing within the past week. Items like cigarette butts, a few empty cardboard boxes, and coffee grounds led them to believe a homeless garbage bag was trying to support itself in the area.

Sadly, reports say that while single, white male cats comprise 44 percent of the homeless, single, Tortoise Shell female cats 13 percent, and cats with kittens 36 percent, unaccompanied, black, plastic garbage bags account for 7 percent of the total.

“I hate to think of garbage bags begging for scraps,” continued Max. “In this day and age when we all have so much for ourselves, it pains me to know there are folks out there suffering right outside our doors.”


Margene saw the garbage bag through her kitchen window

“He scooted across the street fast. I felt really bad.“ said Max’s wife Bianca, a 9-year-old, Russian Blue, who saw the terrified bag last Wednesday. “He saw me and fled. A few dented, empty tuna cans clanked and fell out of him on his way up towards the next house.”

“At first I thought he was hooking up with Judy,” said neighbor cat Margene, a 13-year-old, spayed, Domestic Short Hair. “She got divorced a few months back and that’s just the sort of trash she’d hang out with.”

Margene said she first saw the garbage bag through the kitchen window while fixing waffles, saying he ‘ducked and tried to hide’ under a car, concealing himself from view. An anonymous neighbor later admitted that the bag told her it was looking for a place to sleep.


This Yard Waste can says he offered to help the lonely garbage bag

One particular 3-year-old, Plastic, Yard Waste Disposal Can said he saw the lonely garbage bag wandering around and offered to let him use his cell phone to call for help, but stated that the garbage bag admitted he had ‘no one’ to call.

A not so well-known fact about homelessness, 28 percent of homeless garbage bags said they sometimes or very often do not get enough to eat, compared with 15 percent of relatively-low income cats.

“It was garbage day on Thursday,” continued Margene. “I saw him hiding on the curb over near the plastic cans and recycle bins, trying to fit in. It was so sad, I hope he finds his way.”

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photos: Random

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Annual Flying Penguin Festival Cancelled Amid Fear Of Violence


North Bend, WA

The 12th Annual Festival of the Flying Penguins (AFFP) has officially been cancelled today after threats were received from angry squirrels saying they planned to plant ‘bombs and assorted, salted, mixed nuts’ along the main parade route, city officials said.

Cats organizing the finishing touches were shocked when phone lines lit up and multiple faxes were received from anonymous squirrel sources citing threats claiming taxpayer money from the state was being unfairly spent on penguin activities, while none was earmarked for squirrels.

The festival, held each year, is funded with a combination of taxpayer money and donations gathered from the sale of Sno-Cones at local convenience stores.


Ace said it the parade is “…good for morale.”

Each year at the festival, thousands of cats, penguins, gnomes, and other creatures, gather in the mountains of North Bend to support the well-being of penguins, who are treated to a day of hang-gliding, parachuting, and zip-lining.

“It is so good for morale, I think,” said Ace, a 6-year-old, neutered, Domestic Short Hair who is one of the original founders of the festival. “I believe all penguins should be able to live the dream of flight. What we do here is just the tip of the iceberg.”

However, in the past years, a tide of hate has risen from groups of non-flying squirrels, who believe their taxpayer money should give them equal opportunity to achieve flight not-otherwise-intended by nature.


Jeff wishes equal opportunity were provided for squirrels to attempt flight

“Why should I be denied the opportunity to fly?” Said Jeff, a 2-year-old, Douglas Squirrel from Bellevue. “I’m not saying I support the hate groups, but I see their point.”

Cats had planned to stage the annual event in North Bend as usual, followed by a parade, and at least 1,500 plastic penguins were due to take part.

Many of the penguins had already made macaroni salads and bought potato chips to share at the parade, which was originally designed to boost community cohesion.


Macaroni, interviewed in his home, said he had been looking forward to flying all year

“I personally have been looking forward to this for months,” said Macaroni, a 4-year-old, Plastic Lawn Penguin, who was imported from China. “I have always dreamed of flight and I applaud this group of cats for making our dreams come true.”

Organizer Loopy Betty, a 15-year-old, spayed, Domestic Long Hair said "We were told by police today that the original parade route had never been risk assessed and that the safety of the penguins and parade watchers would be in jeopardy if we did not cancel. It is with regret that we did so.”

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Penguin Photos By Me
Others: Random

Friday, September 11, 2009

Local Kitten Teased At Recess


Edmonds, WA

It was a sad day today on the sunny playground of Lynndale Elementary School, where young kitten Bunion, a 10-month-old, Domestic Short Hair, male, was teased yet again about his big ears.

“They said I look like Dumbo...” cried young Bunion, who was found crying in the corner of the boy’s bathroom mid-recess by a teacher. “It’s not my fault. Why don’t they like me and who is Dumbo?” Bunion has repeatedly been the victim of nasty teasing by other kittens at the school due to his abnormally-sized ears.

There have been repeated attacks on young kittens at the school by bullies in the past few months according to Principal Tiara. “We are aware that there are a few bullies in our midst.” said the Principal. “It is a normal part of any kittens life and it will pass.”


The site of the bullying, Lynndale Elementary School

Not so certain of that fact however, is Bunion. Bunion said he dreads recess, especially indoor recess, and usually heads for the boy’s bathroom after most kittens have left the classroom. “If I hide in there, no one will bother me.” he said. “I used to go out and play tetherball by myself, but then these three other kittens would come over and take the ball and make it hit me in the face.” Buinion wiped away tears as he recounted the act of bullying. “They laugh at my ears and call me a pansy.”

Bullying is actually a big problem that affects lots of kittens. Three-quarters of all kittens say they have been bullied or teased. Being bullied can make kittens feel really bad. The stress of dealing with bullies can also make kittens feel sick and unwanted.


These three kittens, Malachai, Kiwi, and Parsnip reportedly bullied young Bunion

Bullies often pick on someone they think they can have power over. Getting a big reaction out of any kitten can make bullies feel like they have the power they want. Sometimes bullies pick on someone who is smarter than they are or different from them in some way.

Sometimes bullies just pick on a kitten for no reason at all. The bullies who picked on young Bunion are just such types. Three kittens, Malachai, Kiwi, and Parsnip, accused of bullying Bunion have been repeatedly written up and given detention for acts of bullying.


Dr. Tinycat said to do your best to ignore bullies

Dr. Tinycat, a noted pediatrician and child psychologist from the University of Puget Sound said there are things you can tell your kitten if he or she is being bullied. “Stand tall and be brave, feel good about you, and get yourself a buddy.” Dr. Tinycat said to “…Pretend you don't hear the bullies when they come at you. Walk away quickly to a place of safety near other kittens or cats. Bullies usually want a big reaction to their meanness. Acting as if you don't don't care is giving no reaction at all, and this might stop a bully's behavior.”

After speaking with a guidance counselor and the school nurse, young Bunion was sent home with a note from the nurses office and promptly fell asleep in a large bucket of warm laundry.

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photo: Black cat - Thanks to Eric!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

String Racetrack Set To Close, Regulars Grow Nostalgic


Tukwila, WA

A ban set by voters in the King County area has regulars counting down the very last days of string racing at Longacres Park, the very first live string racing track in Washington State, set to close Sunday.

Opponents of string racing said racing was ‘inhumane’ and abusive to the string and cited numbers supporting too many balls of string had been put down as a result.

“To me it’s so crazy,’’ said a track insider. “I know personally that the string and yarn are treated first class. To say anything else is stupid. There’s no abuse here.’’


Carob said “…this is my life.”

In string racing, bets are made and when the starting gate opens, balls of string come careening out onto the track. Cats clench their paws to the rail, feeling the raw horsepower of the string as it hurls down the track, furlong after furlong.

Jaws clench, tickets are clutched, hair is pulled, peanuts fly. Seven balls of string, roll around the turn and into the stretch and the regulars crowd the rail.

“I love this place,” said Janie, a 13-year-old, spayed, Domestic Short Hair as she quietly put down her Daily Racing Form. “I will miss it. She sobbed, and checked out the first balls of yarn, string, and twine to come rolling out into the paddock.


Track insiders say the string is treated ‘first class’ and never abused

On race days, patrons walked in circles, scanning their programs, and muttering to themselves, looking for a winner amidst all the numbers. “I’ll take 20 to win on the Yellow and Red Cotton Blend in the third,“ one cat said to a teller.

“I love the live races,’’ said Carob, a 16-year-old, neutered, Chocolate-Point Siamese, who lost his job at a steel mill last November. “Always have. This is my life. There is nothing like the thrill of the track.’’

Some cats at the track are middle-management dads, who sneak away from work at lunch hoping for a spot of luck. Others are Vietnam vets, cats who are unemployed, bored, who meet others for a beer, hoping for that one ‘long shot’ ball of string who comes in at 90-1 odds.


Boingo, at 20, is one of the oldest track regulars

“This place is my home, I love it; the smells, the thrills, the people,” said Jasper, a 17-year-old, neutered, Domestic Short Hair, who traveled all the way by bus from Lynnwood to see the races. “It is what I do every day. I have no idea what I will do with myself now.”

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs here. I have won thousands and lost thousands,’’ said Boingo, a 20-year-old, neutered, Former Feral, Manx, who is one of the oldest of the regulars at Longacres. “One thing I learned, sometimes you get the string, and sometimes the string gets you.’’

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photos: Carob, Thanks to KoKo
Others:Random

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cat Caught Exposing Himself In Store Blames Tight Underwear


Edmonds, WA

A local cat is facing charges after he was caught following another cat in a grocery store and then exposing and fondling himself, according to police.

A checkout clerk at the Edmonds QFC on 196th noticed the cat walking back and forth between some potatoes and strawberries in the produce section. He told police in a statement that he had never seen the cat in the store before and decided to keep an eye on him.

The clerk said the cat at first lingered in the bakery area, eating free cookie and donut samples, and then began following a female cat around the store, watching her touch and feel watermelon.


Izzy was groping watermelon at the Edmonds QFC

The clerk said his jaw dropped to the floor as the cat dropping his pants, fondled himself and then pulled his pants back up.

The clerk, still in shock, contacted police, who promptly arrived at the store and arrested the cat. The cat, Boris Peabody, is a 7-year-old, neutered, Domestic Short Hair, who has never had a run-in with the law.

The female cat did not see what the cat had been doing because he was hidden behind a large Heinz ketchup kiosk. She simply chose her melon and went on to the bulk foods section.


Izzy had no idea she was being watched by some creep

“I had no idea what was going on,” said the cat, Izzy, a 1-year-old, spayed, Domestic Short Hair of the exposure. “One minute I was grabbing some nuts and the next the police were there asking me if I saw what he did.”

“He came from this direction, to this spot and he walked back there and he stopped and went like this…" A witness (who was then also arrested for indecency) explained as he showed police exactly how the cat exposed himself.

Boris, who refused to be interviewed by the Gazette, said he did not intentionally expose himself to the unsuspecting female cat and blamed his European-style underwear, which he claimed was too tight, according to police documents.


This grocery clerk was quick to notify police

"I want cameras in here,“ said the grocery clerk who reported the incident, exhibiting concern for the safety of his customers. “I think it would be good for the common areas and so I can record it if it happens again.”

Boris has been charged with one count of disorderly conduct and giving false information to a police officer. He was not charged with indecent exposure because the grocery clerk thought he had a nice ass.

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photo of Izzy - Thanks to Jenny Lee Ryan
Boris - Thanks to Ryan Canasta
Grocery Clerk - Anonymous

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Three Seattle Kittens Adopted By Family of Small, Plastic People


Seattle, WA

Three kittens in lower Queen Anne are happy this morning, having been recently adopted by a Playmobil action figure called Lucy and her plastic family.

Lucy and her partially-articulated family of five were new to the area and had been looking to adopt a cat for her Mediterranean-style home in the Seattle Pacific University Neighborhood when she heard about the local Paws adoption shelter.

"We have the Playmobil kitties, they came with our house, but we wanted to try real kitties." Lucy said.


Lucy and her family's new Seattle-area home

Lucy went into the shelter with her plastic daughters, Hannah and Gisele. They were overwhelmed with joy and love for three kittens who had been abandoned by their mother only a few months ago.

“I feel it is meant to be,” said Lucy. “They are the most adorable kittens…I simply couldn’t decide on one, so I decided to adopt all three.”


Hannah was overjoyed by the kittens

Lucy adopted Quintus, Abracadabra, and the Outlaw Josie Wales, formerly of Bend, Oregon. The three siblings were abandoned when their mother packed her bags and ran off with a sous chef after the height of the ski season was over.

A volunteer from a Seattle shelter drove down to Oregon, rescued the kittens, and placed them into foster care until they were ready to go to Paws for adoption.

“We feel so grateful to Lucy.” said Abracadabra, a 1-year-old black domestic short hair male. “We have been given a new chance at life and a new home. We just hope she puts a blanket on her lap because those plastic legs look kinda creepy.”


Abracadabra says they are "...grateful."

The family arrived to sign the final papers after shopping for flowers at the Home Depot. "We want to create a pretty environment for the new additions." Hannah explained.


Gisele, getting ready for the new arrivals

All smiles, the happy family left the shelter together and are headed for their new home. Lucy's daughter Gisele said that adopting the kitties has made her more aware of the impact volunteering has on cats and thanks the thousands of volunteers who help kitties every day.

Lucy’s daughter Hannah was overjoyed by the presence of all the kittens at the shelter and said “I wish we could adopt them all." As for Lucy, she said "After all the hard work of setting up a household here...I feel my home is now complete."


"I feel that my home is now complete" said Lucy, pictured above


Black plastic cats are included with the purchase of the Playmobil Mediterranean house, according to Lucy

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Photo: Thanks Brianna Davis & Cleo

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cat Who Lost Cookie Now Torn Apart With Grief


Seattle, WA

Tragedy can sometimes bring a husband and wife closer together, but when it comes to the loss of a really good chocolate chip cookie, sometimes there is nothing left to be saved.

Last February, Jacob, an 8-year-old, neutered, Siamese Mix and his domestic partner Ollie, a 7-year-old, Domestic Long Hair, were strolling down Broadway hand in hand when the unthinkable happened.

Jacob was eating a chocolate chip cookie from the QFC bakery when he stumbled and dropped the cookie down a flight of stairs, killing it.


The site of the horrid tragedy, on Broadway in Seattle

“It was so sad,” said partner Ollie. “It was no longer edible. It had lint and dirt on it and was all crumbled up. Eventually it just crawled down into the street drain and died.”

Ever since the tragic loss of his cookie, Jacob’s overwhelming grief has driven him into a deep, dark seclusion that continues even seven months later.

Friends say that the couple used to go everywhere together and do many activities. Since the loss of the cookie, insiders say their relationship is quickly falling apart.

“You never see them together anymore,” said an inside source close to the couple. “Sometimes grief can unite a couple, but Jacob just locked himself away in his bedroom and cried all day.”


Ollie hopes only for a swift recovery for Jacob

The cookie, who was only a few hours old when it died, was said to be made from all natural ingredients, pure cane sugar, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

While Jacob is away grieving, Ollie is numbing himself, spending countless hours playing Xbox.

“I rely on my very strong faith and Christian beliefs,” said Ollie. “I know Jake is heartbroken over this cookie, but I am hoping he will pull out of it soon.”

Friends say that the once extremely close-knit couple seem to be drifting apart since the tragedy and could be heading for a split.


The cookie sadly, never had a chance at life

“Every once in a while Jacob will leave his home,” said an insider. “I have seen him at the local Safeway, looking at other cookies through the glass. It is sad. He is so devastated by the loss (of the cookie) that it has consumed him.”

Friends and family have suggested that it might be the time for Jacob to get himself another cookie, but Ollie fears it still may be too soon to tell Jacob that sometimes, that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

“Jacob is struggling,” Ollie said. “One day soon I hope he will be ready for another. But for now we ask just that friends and family continue to support him through our difficult time.”

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Ollie Cat Photo: Thanks to Ollie the Cat
Featuring Kellie Kat as Jacob
The chocolate chip cookie pictured was not harmed during the process of writing this story.