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Contrasting tales of kittys in the city

It's been a good week for … lost cats

It's been a good week for … lost cats

If only you just had the nation's finances to worry about. Chancellor George Osborne was facing a hefty deficit when the family cat went missing.

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Fortunately, Freya was rescued by a charity worker after straying more than a mile from her Westminster home. Homelessness outreach worker Kate Jones found Freya in Vauxhall, identifying her from a tag on her collar.

Jones said Freya was "a gorgeous cat and, just like the people we work with, deserved some help in getting home".

Jones, who works with Thames Reach's London Street Rescue, said the cat was "exceptionally friendly" but clearly frightened.

"I have a lot of experience in helping homeless people off of the street," she said. "I'm not so used to working with homeless cats, but when we saw Freya we realised how distressed she was, we did the only right thing possible, and helped her get off the streets too."

Freya was then promptly chauffeured back to Downing Street. There is irony at work here that doesn't need mentioning.

That's pawlitics for you.

It's been a bad week for … stranded cats

It's just as well Freya wasn't stuck up a tree in Scotland. Under a new charging policy by fire chiefs, any cat rescued from a tree will land their owners with a bill of almost £350.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is introducing a price list for attending non-emergency incidents and industrial training events. The charge for firefighters is £24 per hour, with crew managers priced at £27 per hour and fire engines at £285 - all plus VAT.

Drivers involved in accidents could face a fire brigade fee for clearing roadside spillages and homeowners could pay for summoning fire officers to pump out flood water. A report to the Fire Service Board said the new charging policy enables the service to "explore potential income streams that have had limited application in the past". The charges are expected to total about £136,000 a year. Bring it on. Charles Rennie Mackintosh may or may not have had a cat, but we all know the sterling work of our fire service is worth every penny.

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