Here's the important national story with a Florida angle that made page A2 of the Washington Post the other day: Florida Cat Mum on Alleged Abduction:
Mr. Kibbles must have special powers.
His benefactors say the black cat completed a journey that many suburbanites couldn't tackle without a map, navigating 15 miles of sprawl from the Everglades to his home in Coconut Creek, Fla. But that's not the end of it. The big question now is whether Mr. Kibbles can tell his tale.
It looks as though a South Florida judge thinks so.
Broward Circuit Court Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren has ordered Mr. Kibbles not to contact a couple accused of cat-napping him. That's right. No kitty calls. No kitty e-mails. Nothing.
There's lots more.
Here, meanwhile, is the Miami Herald's version of the story, April 29th:
A Broward County judge ruled this morning that a Fort Lauderdale firefighter and his fiancée are to have no contact with their neighbors — or their neighbor's cat, Mr. Kibbles.
Circuit Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren made the order in a status hearing for Christopher Cortes, 32, and Iris Zukerman, 31, of Coconut Creek. They are charged with misdemeanor theft and animal cruelty.
Prosecutors claim the pair abducted Mr. Kibbles, a jet-black cat owned by Nancy Leonard, 47, who lives in Coconut Creek's Victoria Isles town house complex. A police report indicates that Cortes was angry about the cat's use of his new pickup truck as a litter box.
Cortes and Zukerman allegedly drove Mr. Kibbles about 15 miles west into the Everglades and dumped him there.
The cat found his way home about two weeks later.
The couple's attorney has said Cortes and Zukerman were trying to save the cat's life. They thought he was a stray and were afraid the neighborhood homeowners association would take him to be euthanized.
A jury will hear the case later this year. Lerner-Wren set another status hearing for 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 5.
A longer version appeared in the Broward edition on the 30th, and introduced the “Mr. Kibbles mum on gag order” aspect of the story..
In connection with this story you should be aware of Miles v. City Council of Augusta, Ga., 710 F.2d 1542, 1544 n.5 (11th Cir. 1983), which holds that a talking cat is not protected by the Bill of Rights. (In one of the high points of my career as an appellate litigator, I found an excuse to cite this footnote in a brief before the D.C. Court of Appeals.) Also of interest is the district court opinion, 551 F.Supp. 349 n.1 (S.D.Ga. 1982), in which the court disclosed an ex parte communication with the cat.