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Paper Monitor

10:51 UK time, Thursday, 2 February 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.
Unlike Macavity, who famously wasn't there, the papers are full of cats today. The Daily Mail - "Cat craze born and bread on the internet" - shows half a dozen pictures of moggies with their heads apparently stuck in a slices of... er bread. The practice is known as breading. The pictures are rather sinister - the cat's head protruding from a soft, doughy rectangle that resembles an Elizabethan aristo's ruff, a mournful look in its eyes, as if to say "This is my cross to bear in life - a slice of own-brand wholemeal."

It's a minefield for puns, with the Mail supplying the internal monologue of cats subjected to the trend. "Sometimes you just have to roll with your owner's whims - however crummy they might be."

Martyn Lewis, former newsreader of this parish, recognised many years ago the appetite for all things feline in his authoritative Cats in the News. And it's not just the cuddly variety we pine for. In the last few days that hardy perennial - big cats loose in the British countryside - has risen again. Apparent sightings and a mauled deer in Gloucestershire hit the headlines. But today the air went out of the balloon a little with the news that DNA evidence showed that the deer was likely to have been killed by a fox.

But for big cat lovers, there's still Pumas. Not real ones. These are women seeking Previously Married and Attractive men. Not to be confused of course with the Cougar - an older woman who preys on much younger men. The Daily Telegraph reports that single women are turning their backs on toyboys for men with experience of relationships. But on closer inspection the story appears to have as much veracity as the Gloucestershire big cat. For the survey it was based on claims that fewer than 10% of single women would prefer to date a divorced man than be a cougar.

Pause for thought.

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