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Rain, sleet, snow, gloom, OK — but not that cat

Canada's postal system has stopped delivering mail to a home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a mail carrier was scared away by a "very threatening cat," the Winnipeg Free Press said Friday.
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Canada's postal system has stopped delivering mail to a home in Winnipeg after a mail carrier was scared away by a "very threatening cat," the Winnipeg Free Press reported Friday.

A Canada Post spokeswoman said the agency was concerned about the safety of its carriers, although it hoped for an amicable solution to its dispute with cat owner John Samborski.

"The letter carrier who delivers mail there ... was brought up on a farm, she is very comfortable with animals," spokeswoman Kathi Neal told the newspaper. "Apparently this is a very threatening cat."

Samborski told the paper that his 8-year-old declawed black cat, Shadow, is docile, and it was "ridiculous" for Canada Post to make him to pick up his mail from a post office 2 1/2 miles away instead of delivering it to his door.

Shadow "likes to eat and sleep and cuddle. You could drop a bomb and he'd just open one eye, take a look, then close them and go back to sleep," Samborski, 41, told the newspaper.

Samborski said he called a number listed on the one-page notice delivered to his house and talked to a supervisor, but remained flummoxed about allegations Shadow hid under their porch stairs and growled at letter carriers, the Free Press reported on its Web site.

Samborski said Shadow spends some time outside but has never had any problems with anyone — not even Duke, a large Weimaraner dog that lives in the same home, according to the Free Press site.

A neighbor said there is a small group of aggressive cats that marauds around the area, but Shadow isn't one of them, the Free Press reported.

Cat attacks on letter carriers are extremely rare but not unknown, Ken Hatch, a longtime Winnipeg mail carrier, told the Free Press. He said he once stepped over a sleeping cat while delivering mail and accidentally startled the animal awake.

"It jumped up and twisted in the air and bit me on the back of the calf," said Hatch, leaving him with "four little puncture wounds."