Cat’s Relentless String Harassment Prompts Emergency Call

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Given that Americans called 911 this year for emergencies that included missing shrimp, McNugget shortages, and (most recently) an unstoppable Playstation 3, it is somewhat reassuring to know that people in other countries are also defective.

It may be that, like so many other things, we got this from the British.  The BBC recently reported that a woman in Manchester called the emergency "999" service there to report that her cat had been playing with string for two solid hours, and it was "doing her head in."  I don't know this dialect very well, but I think that means the cat was bugging her and after two hours she just could not take it anymore.  I have tried to transcribe the brief clip, but it is worth listening to because with the accent it sounds to me like part of a Monty Python sketch:

 – Unofficial Transcript —

DISPATCHER: Manchester police, how can I help?

CALLER: Hiya, love.  Um, this is an emergency, it's been goin' on for two hours now.  And it's doin' me 'ead in —

DISPATCHER: What's happening there?

CALLER: Me cat's been playin' with string.

The police released the clip to the media at part of what is apparently an annual (and probably futile) effort to remind people not to use the emergency line for stupid things, especially during the holidays.  The report referred to one other call, in which a man called 999 to say he was stuck on a patch of ice on the street and was too scared to go either forward or backward.  (I guess he was calling to see if he could get a push.)

Police in Manchester said they got almost 1,400 calls in the few days surrounding Christmas, of which only "a fraction" were genuine emergencies.

Link: BBC News