Cat `ordered to do jury service in US`

Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 13:07 PM IST

Boston: Bizarre it may seem, but a cat has been ordered by a US court to do jury service.

And, this is even after the feline`s owners, told the Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston that the pet, named Tabby Sal, was "unable to speak and understand English".

The cat`s owners, Anna and Guy Esposito, wrote to the court to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the feline "must attend" on March 23, `The Daily Telegraph` online reported.

The Espositos had included a letter from their vet confirming that the cat was "a domestic short-haired neutered feline".

Tabby Sal had been entered by Esposito under the "pets" section of the last census. "When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What`s he supposed to say -- miaow?" Anna said.

"Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last Census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix-up," she said.

Her husband, Guy, said the summons for juror service was a surprise. "I said, `Sal, what`s this?` I was shocked. He likes to sit on my knee and watch crime shows with me but even so he`s still under-qualified for jury duty if you ask me." A website for the US judicial system states that jurors are "not expected to speak perfect English".