London

No ID cat almost misses out on advent calendar gift

Ted with his note Image copyright Brittany Maher-Kirk
Image caption At first a Royal Mail worker said they were not obliged to hand over the parcel because Ted has no ID

A cat almost lost out on his advent calendar because he had no ID to claim the festive treat from postal staff.

Brittany Maher-Kirk, 27, from Kentish Town, north London, missed the delivery of the Christmas countdown, sent by her mother Sue and addressed to her cat Ted.

On phoning Royal Mail she was told there was no obligation to hand over the parcel without ID.

But she said amused depot workers handed over the gift in the end.

Royal Mail's guidance on addressing mail does not include any reference to animals.

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Image copyright Brittany Maher-Kirk
Image caption Royal Mail's guidelines do not include advice on sending items to animals

Miss Maher-Kirk said: "They were quite amused on the phone and said 'We are not actually obliged to give it to you. You could be anybody'."

The charity worker and her boyfriend Ben Lindsay, 25, adopted Ted from Cats Protection six months ago.

Her mother had addressed the parcel to 'Ted Maher-Kirk Lindsay' - the triple-barrel name making the situation more ridiculous yet, she said.

Image copyright Brittany Maher-Kirk
Image caption Brittany Maher-Kirk said she was not surprised by her mother Sue's antics
Image copyright Brittany Maher-Kirk
Image caption Ted enjoys his advent calendar, his owner said

At the depot, workers were very helpful and "in absolute hysterics", she said.

They suggested Ted was brought down to claim his parcel but she explained that he has a virus known as feline HIV and is not allowed to leave the house.

Referring to her pet-mad mother, Miss Maher-Kirk said: "It was a real sense of 'What has she done now? I've got to be that person who tells Royal Mail I've got a parcel for my cat'."

Her mother, who lives in Lincolnshire, likes to dress up her Labradors in things like Santa outfits, and was delighted when they got the cat, she said.

"I've found the whole thing very funny, but there's a sense of 'Not again from my batty mother'," she added.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said the group delivers many items to animals at households and businesses around the UK.

She said they recommend felines "ask for their owner's name to be included on the package" to "ensure that cats can get their human to accept their parcels on their behalf".

Ted is apparently very happy with his advent calendar and "makes weird chirping, meowing noises" when the windows are opened.

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