Friday, December 12, 2008

Big cat bites Santa, nice

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — Santa Claus posed with a very large kitty on his lap — and now, unfortunately, he might need rabies shots.Jonathan Bebbington was playing the jolly old elf during a Santa Paws photo event at a PetsMart store when he was bitten Sunday on the wrist and hand. The event was to raise money for Penny Angel's Beagle Rescue group.The cat and owner disappeared after the incident. At least one person thought it was a bobcat, said Joan Kerr, president of Penny Angel's."It had absolutely huge paws, like 3 inches (nearly 8 centimeters) around," Kerr said.The cat, named "Benny," appeared terrified because dogs were nearby, Bebbington, 47, told The Press of Atlantic City."It had very powerful jaws and big teeth," he said, estimating the cat weighed about 30 pounds (14 kilograms).The woman who brought it to the store told people there she bought the cat from a breeder in Wyoming for $1,500."Her last words were, 'I have a permit and the cat has all his vaccines,' " Bebbington said.Unless the owner produces vaccination records, Bebbington will have to receive rabies shots starting Thursday as a precaution. He's already had a tetanus shot.
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