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article imageFamily risks losing mail delivery because cat scratches postman

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 1, 2010 in Business
Portsmouth - The Royal Mail will not post letters through the door for one family in Portsmouth because their cat, who scratched a postman’s finger, is now considered a threat.
A tortoiseshell cat called Lana is accused of scratching the mail carrier when he pushed letters through the opening.
Carl and Carol White say the feline was just acting playful but the Royal Mail has stated that it is important to prevent animal attacks.
The family has been told to keep the cat away from the door or risk losing their postal delivery, so Carl now goes to the door to collect the post when the carrier knocks.
"Our letterbox is about six inches off the ground on the front door and our cat often likes to sit behind it,” Carl White told The Portsmouth News.
"The postman had put the letter through the door and for some reason Lana scratched his hand.
"She wasn't being vicious - I think she just saw the hand and was being playful.
"A couple of weeks after the incident we got a letter from Royal Mail to say if we did not keep her away from the door then they will suspend our service.”
He said he thought the message was someone playing a joke at first.
The postman knocks and hands them their mail, but Carl said because they have glass pannelled doors it is possible to see if the cat is there from the outside.
"That was the first time she had ever done anything like that and she's not done anything like that since,” he added.
"I think it's a bit much to say they might take us off the mailing list if it were to happen again."
A spokesman for Royal Mail confirmed “an employee suffered an injury to a finger after being scratched by a cat while on their deliveries.”
They said they contacted the owner to make sure they are aware of the matter and ensure mail could continue to be safely delivered in the future.
"Royal Mail takes very seriously the safety of its employees, particularly our front line staff who deliver the mail,” The News quoted them as saying.
"Unfortunately, animal attacks are a hazard faced by our employees and we record around 5,000 animal attacks a year on our postmen and women.
"Our main aim is to prevent attacks, supported by an on-going campaign to raise awareness of the issue among our customers."
The White’s other cat, Layla, has not attacked any postmen.
Lana is known as Lana Banana by the couple's sons Jack, 10, and Connor, seven.
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