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"Miracle cat's" owner responds to reader criticism

December 29, 2008 |  7:45 pm

Besscat When we told you last week about Times reporter Kim Murphy's tale of her "miracle cat," Bess (who emerged from a two-month ordeal trapped in a window seat with no food or water), some of you had strong words for Murphy.  ("This person should be cited for animal abuse," said Felix the Cat, and bdann called the story "sickening.")

It seems Murphy received a lot of e-mails from readers whose reactions to her story were similar to Felix's and bdann's -- enough so that she talked with the Times' Readers' Representative Journal about it.  From the Readers' Rep:

How could she miss the cat meowing all those weeks? Said Murphy in her note: "This cat NEVER meowed. Not once. We sat on that window seat every single day of her disappearance, and never heard ONE SOUND until the night she was discovered." 

And why did the story run on Christmas Day? This was "a good choice for anyone who believes in unexpected blessings," as editors on the National desk said when they pitched it.

And why didn't Murphy ever look in the window seat in which Bess was eventually found?  "I went on every possible lost-cat website, and every one of them told you to search your own house and outbuildings immediately. We looked under beds, in closets, in the kitchen cabinets, and called her name all over the house. We open the window seat perhaps twice a year. It just never occurred to me that she could possibly be in there," says Murphy.  Read her full response here.

Does this explanation change your feelings about the story?  Let us know in the comments.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Kim Murphy / Los Angeles Times

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