You must have heard about this. The sweet fluffy cat who greets the postman by jumping up to the letterbox to snatch letters with her teeth as they are delivered. Laura Lowe who is the human companion of Bella, her fluffy black-and-white cat, says that she finds it hard to believe that her lazy cat is terrorising postmen.
However, Laura does concede that there was some blood around the letterbox! 🙂 She said:
“I did notice that there was blood around the letterbox-not a huge amount but definite smudges. I thought the postman must’ve had a paper cut. Bella doesn’t realise she’s doing anything wrong, she thinks it’s a game when she tries to grab things that come through the letterbox.”
However, Matthew Sampson, Laura’s partner said:
“She does seem to dislike the postman. When he comes to the door she lets out a sort of growl. He shouldn’t have to risk being injured at work. I’m not sure exactly how I’d go about restraining the cat, though.”
Royal Mail has written to Bella’s owners asking them to restrain their cat otherwise they will stop delivering post to their home.
“I’m writing to let you know that we are experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of a cat at your property… 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. Please therefore either ensure that the cat is restrained at all times away from the back of the letterbox, or provide an alternative safe delivery point for your property.”
Matthew and Laura say that they are moving home soon we should solve the problem for the postman! When they have moved they plan to install an external letterbox to keep the postman’s digits out of the danger zone.
The story of Bella brings to mind a similar story in America which was well documented in news media not so long ago. There is a post about it on this website as well.
I think that this is not a case of aggression by a cat towards postman; far from it. It’s much more about entertainment. Bella enjoys herself and obtains entertainment when objects are pushed through a hole in the door.
On a practical level, I would have thought the postman could have found a solution to this. For example they could have worn gloves. That’s not asking too much. Or they could have held the end of the post so that their hands are well away from letterbox opening. Just suggestions.
This idea just came to me (two days later): attach a cage/basket to the inside of the door over the letter box. The letters would fall into it and the cat would not be able to get at the postman’s hands!
Perhaps the argument is that it is an obligation upon the cat’s owner to ensure that the postman is kept safe and it is not the job of the postman to deal with the amusing but slightly dangerous activities of a cat inside the home.