It's been a good week for … cats

It's been a good week for … cats

Russia's largest bank has launched a mortgage "pawlicy" with a difference: clients who buy one of their products get a cat thrown in as a harbinger of good luck.

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Sberbank offers every new mortgage customer the choice of the cat they want, and it will be delivered in time for their housewarming party.

The bad news for customers is that they won't be able to keep their feline friend. The terms of the offer say that the cat - an animal that to many Russians is a sign of good luck to those moving into a new home - is only available for two hours, so that it is the first to cross the threshold of the property. The home-owners can take photos, but then the catflap closes.

This is the mortgage deal with the ultimate get-out claws.

It's been a bad week for … dogs

A hostelry named after Edinburgh's most famous pooch is in the doghouse after it turned away a pet owner because the pub is a dog-free zone.

Greyfriars Bobby's Bar in the city centre overlooks the statue of the Skye Terrier which spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner in the neighbouring kirkyard.

But management at the bar have been criticised after they turned away Tracie Knight and her dog, Tenzin. She was told her pet was not allowed inside the premises because customers were "genuinely uncomfortable" around pets and the pub has only one room.

Knight - who says her dog is often described as a blond look-alike to the famous terrier - said: "I just laughed. I couldn't believe it, they trade off their connection with Greyfriars Bobby.

"I don't see why more places in Edinburgh don't let dogs in. Tenzin's no trouble and in fact he's less trouble than some drunk people."

The Greyfriars Bobby's Bar website boasts that it is "famous for the city's most loyal watchdog".

A spokesman for the bar said the policy has been in place for at least 10 years, and added: "There is an outdoor seating area where dogs are very welcome and we obviously welcome assistance dogs."

I can't imagine Bobby has much sympathy for a softy such as Tenzin. He's been stuck outside in the cold for years with nary a Coke or a packet of crisps.