"You mean this isn't the jury box?"
So according to this article from the Telegraph newspaper, a Boston cat recently was called to do jury duty. It turns out "Tabby Sal" had been listed on the family's census submission, under Pets, but it appears that with today's anti-discrimination policies, our government is willing to take practically anyone able to serve.
Thumbs are not a prerequisite.
Having received the summons, the feline's owner suggested that Tabby Sal's presence on the jury was possibly superfluous, given the prospective juror's "inability to speak and understand English." The article doesn't say whether this was enough to exempt the cat from his duties as an American citizen.
Now, my own kittens both do understand English, but they are not fluent, native speakers.
As far as I can tell, their grasp of the language is pretty much limited to:
- Their own names
- "fer Pete's sake, Harry, what the hell are ya doin'?"
- "treat" and
- "not for kitties"
Also "no." But that particular word appears harder for their ears to register and process than words like "food" or "treat."
If these are, however, the words being used in an important court case, my furred friends Alice and Harry would probably be able to turn in a decent, honest verdict-- at least one as good as the average human-American who watches a lot of daytime television.
I mean, I figure most of us-- myself included-- can speak almost no Cat. So, being bilingual, the kittens are already our linguistic superiors. Plus, their day jobs consist mainly of self-employed in-home perimeter security patrol and REM processing. This makes their schedules flexible, so getting off work to participate in a trial isn't too difficult.
Only drawback would be for a lengthy trial.
In which case, the jury box had just better have some litter in it.