The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 25, 2014

A cat’s tale: Juror’s kitty lands in court

MERCER — Mercer County court officials had made arrangements for the jurors in the Ralph L. Young murder case to spend Tuesday night in a local motel to help keep them from outside distractions and influences while they deliberated.

Officials had not made arrangements for a cat.

While jurors were moving their cars to a designated parking lot before being shuttled to the motel, one of the jurors appeared to sheriff’s deputies holding a kitten, said Court Administrator Pete Morrin.

After the juror, who declined to be interviewed, parked his sport-utility vehicle, he heard meowing from the engine, Morrin said. He popped the hood and found the tabby.

The kitten belonged to the juror and apparently had used its little cat feet to climb into the engine of the SUV at home, making the trip from the Greenville area to Mercer as a stowaway, Morrin said.

And, there he stayed all day.

“He drove all the way down here and parked,” Morrin said. “That didn’t kill the cat. And there it sat for 12 hours.”

Morrin was amazed the kitten didn’t use up all its nine lives during the trip by being jostled free or touching any moving or hot parts.

The juror couldn’t keep the kitten in the motel room so Morrin agreed to take it home for the night. The kitten was hungry, but none the worse for wear, he said.

“It’s fine,” Morrin said. “Very happy cat. Very playful.”

The dark, striped feline is about 10 to 12 weeks old, Morrin estimated. It loves to bat and chase string, have its belly scratched and nip at the scratcher.

Curiosity didn’t kill this cat but led it to all corners of the Morrin household.

Morrin’s resident cat looked askance at the temporary addition.

“He saw this little kitten coming and kind of looked at it and didn’t know what to make of it,” Morrin said.

Morrin kept the kitten in a pet carrier in his courthouse office Wednesday, giving him frequent outings to be oohed and aahed over by visitors.

When the trial concluded, the juror was allowed to take him home.

Court employees christened the kitten a nickname, not knowing its real one.

“Everyone here decided, since it survived the trip, if it’s not named Lucky, it ought to be,” Morrin said.

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