Royal Mail threatens to halt deliveries because of post-pinching cat

Risk to postman, it says

Bella, seen through the letterbox.

She's the spitting image of Postman Pat's black-and-white cat Jess - but the Royal Mail isn't a fan.

Bella's habit of jumping up to grab the post has led to a threat that her owners may have their mail service cut off altogether.

Matthew Sampson and Laura Lowe, of Patchway, near Bristol, were startled to receive a letter claiming that Bella's actions represented a hazard.

"I'm writing to let you know that we're experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of a cat at your property," the letter read.

"As a result, a health and safety risk assessment has been carried out, and has determined that the level of threat requires actions to be taken to ensure the safety of its delivery staff... Your postman has reported that when he pushes the mail through your letterbox your cat snatches the mail and puts his fingers at risk of injury."

The letter asks them to make sure the cat is locked up elsewhere, or to find somewhere else for their mail to be left.

Mr Sampson says he's not offended.

"I knew Bella wasn't keen on the postman but I'd never actually witnessed her attacking him and I am sorry if this was the case – he shouldn't have to risk being injured at work," he tells the Bristol Post.

"I'm not sure exactly how I'd go about restraining the cat, though. As it happens we are actually moving soon, so in the meantime I will sort out an external delivery box."

Cat attacks on postal workers are pretty rare - but dog attacks aren't. According to Royal Mail there are around 3,000 a year. And changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act introduced last year mean that people can now be prosecuted for attacks taking place on private land.

Having said that, the Royal Mail does sometimes go a little far in attempting to protect its staff. Late last year, for example, it suspended deliveries to several streets because of a single dog had been roaming loose. Despite assurances that the police had dealt with the issue, it insisted on carrying out its own investigation before restoring service.

Strangest of all was the case of the South London man who was stunned to be told that he hadn't received his post - because of a 'massive spider web in front gate.' The Royal Mail apologised.

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