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Pet cat catches the daily bus for four years


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Casper, which is 12 years old, boards the No3 service at 10.55am from outside his home in Plymouth, Devon, and travels the entire 11-mile route before returning home about an hour later.

On the route, the cat passes an historic dockyard and naval base, a city centre, several suburbs and the city’s red light district.

He has been making the journey for so long that all First Bus drivers have now been told to look out for him to ensure he gets off at the right stop.

Susan Finden (corr), 65, a care worker who is Casper’s owner, said: "Casper has always disappeared for hours at a time but I never understood where he was going.

"I called him Casper because he had a habit of vanishing like a ghost. But then some of the drivers told me he had been catching the bus.

"I couldn’t believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started – just following everyone on.

"I used to catch the odd bus too so maybe he saw me and got curious what I was doing.

"Casper is quite quick for his age so he just hops on to the bus before the doors close. He catches the 10.55am service and likes to sit on the back seat."

Rob Stonehouse (corr), one of the drivers on the route, said: "He usually just curls up at the back of the bus. Sometimes he nips between people’s legs but he never causes any trouble."

Casper has travelled an estimated 20,000 miles but Mrs Finden says because he is getting old the drivers often have to shuffle him off at the right stop.

A spokeswoman for First Bus said the firm has put a notice up in the office asking them to look after the non-paying passenger.

Pet cat catches the daily bus for four years – Telegraph

July 31, 2009 Posted by | Animals, Funny, Weird | Leave a comment

Indian girl beheaded by neighbour to ‘help conception’


 

A five-year-old girl was beheaded by a neighbour who believed her ‘sacrifice’ would help him and his wife conceive a son.

Ram Niwas, 25, consulted his uncle a ‘tantrik’ or black magic priest, who told him he and his wife would only give birth to a boy if he killed a young girl in a ritual sacrifice.

The body of Vandana was discovered in a field close to her home in a village in Lakhimpur Kheri district around 100 miles south of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Her body was surrounded by incense sticks which had been used in the tantrik ritual.

Ram Niwas, his uncle, tantrik priest Mewa Lal, 55, and friend Yousef Ansari, 22, were arrested shortly after the discovery.

A man beheaded his neighbour’s five-year-old daughter after being told by his uncle, a self-proclaimed tantrik (witch doctor), that only a human sacrifice would enable his wife to give birth to a healthy male child.

The gruesome ritual took place in a village in Lakhimpur Kheri district, 150km south of Lucknow on Tuesday. Ram Niwas, 25, who beheaded the child, his uncle, Mewa Lal, 55, and an associate, Yousuf Ansari, 22, have been arrested, the police said.

The three men confessed to their crime shortly after the body was discovered on Tuesday evening, said local police station officer Ravi Srivastava. Niwas told detectives he had turned to his Tantrik uncle because he and his wife had suffered fertility problems.

The case highlights India’s chronic levels of female infanticide. An article in The Lancet revealed that 10 million female foetuses had been aborted in the last 20 years by women who wanted a son, while campaigners say many newborn girls are murdered at birth and recorded as stillborn.

Girls are widely regarded as a financial burden by Indian families because of high dowry demands from the families of prospective grooms.

By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor
Published: 8:30PM BST 30 Jul 2009

Indian girl beheaded by neighbour to ‘help conception’ – Telegraph

July 30, 2009 Posted by | People, Politics, religion | Leave a comment

Dog saved from 70ft cliff fall by collar


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The Telegraph.co.uk said today:

A golden retriever escaped falling to his death after his collar snagged on rocks after he chased a rabbit over a 70ft cliff on the Isle of Wight.

 

Mac plunged over the steep edge while out walking with owner Margaret Sills along a coastal path on the island.

But the collar caught on jutting rocks, breaking his fall.

"It saved his life," said Mrs Sills, "If he hadn’t been wearing one he would have just free-fallen all the way and there’s no way he could have survived."

Mac was taken to Riverbank Animal Hospital where he was treated for broken legs and a punctured lung.

Four days later surgeons fitted metal pins in two operations to keep his broken bones in place.

"He’ll be in the plaster casts for six months so he can lead a true dog’s life until then," said Mrs Stills.

"He can’t really move so I’ve been helping him get outside on special ramps I made for him. He can barely support his own weight so I even have to support him when he goes to the toilet. He’s really embarrassed I’m sure."

Mrs Sills, a former PA who has suffered four strokes and struggles to walk herself, said Mac’s survival meant everything to her.

"He’s my only companion at home and he’s my best friend," she said. "He makes a lot of things possible for me. If I can’t get out of my chair he comes over and supports me. He even picks up my mobile phone when I can’t reach it and I haven’t even trained him to do it.

"Now it’s my turn to go around picking things up for him, but I don’t mind at all. I’m just so happy he’s still here."

Hayley Stevenson, a senior nurse at Broadway Veterinary Hospital, was among a team of nurses, critical care vets and orthopaedic surgeons who helped Mac to recover.

"When Mac arrived with us he had two fractured front legs and air in his chest and a massive amount of bruising. In two separate operations we repaired Mac’s fractures by inserting two metal plates and splints to support his legs," she said.

"He is an amazing dog. Even with all the pain that he was in and not being able to walk, he was full of life and wagging his tail."

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July 28, 2009 Posted by | Animals, Entertainement, nature, Weird | Leave a comment

BBC has no prime-time show for Norton


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The BBC is reportedly holding crisis talks as it attempts to find a new prime-time show for one of its highest-paid stars, Graham Norton.

The presenter, who has a £7.5million three-year deal, has been left without a big Saturday night hit after Andrew Lloyd Webber pulled the plug on a new musical reality show.

Norton had been due to present a talent search to find stars for The Wizard Of Oz, however, the show was axed when composer Lloyd Webber pulled out over fears he would be accused of using it to promote his Phantom Of The Opera sequel.

A BBC source told The Sun: "It has seriously screwed us. That show would have given Graham 12 weeks of work. Now there’s nothing."

The news comes just weeks after the presenter’s latest series, Totally Saturday, was axed after ratings plummeted during the show’s run. Norton has enjoyed massive success with musical-based shows such as Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? however, other programmes he’s been involved in including Strictly Dance Fever and The One And Only have failed to pull in massive audiences.

A BBC spokesperson said: "Graham is a hugely talent and valued presenter at the BBC. His chat show returns to BBC1 later this year and we are look at a range of projects with him for 2010 which we will be announcing in due course."

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July 22, 2009 Posted by | Entertainement, Funny, People | Leave a comment