Believe it or not

Row over Brit’s stuffed cat auction

A British man has upset animal lovers in New Zealand by turning a roadkill cat into a rug and selling it online for more than £500.

Taxidermist Andrew Lancaster found the large male cat on the side of the road on his way home from a concert last month.

“I thought ‘that’s a pretty nice looking cat’, did a U-turn and picked it up,’’ he told the New Zealand Herald.

Lancaster, an ex-pat who lives in Tauranga, said he thought the cat must have been “run straight over’’ as its skin was relatively undamaged.

Interest in the cat had “gone ballistic’’ after he listed on New Zealand’s equivalent of eBay as a “great little gift for the mancave’’.

He specialises in unusual stuffed animal creations and previous works include a possum-headed chicken with vampire teeth, and a small bird with the head of a child’s doll.

Despite his latest creation, he usually stays away from working on pets like cats and dogs.

“It puts a lot of people’s backs up. If someone has known their pet all their life, it’s very hard to get it right when you work on them.’’ Eliot Pryor, from animal advocacy organisation SAFE, said the sale of the cat was in “extremely bad taste’’.

“But there is also something distasteful about the attitude shown to an animal once it has died, as the description is light hearted and not respectful.’’

Student makes chair out of rubber bands

An art student started making a ball of rubber bands in class – and 65,000 bands later it has stretched into the world’s bounciest office chair.

Preston Moeller, 26, has turned the classic ‘rubber band ball’ that can be found in most offices the world over into an art form.

He began flexing his talents by making models of musical instruments, then a rubber band man and finally this comfy and colourful chair.

It weighs in at a hefty 23 pounds and took a painstaking 300 hours to loop together.

Moeller, from Cleveland, North Carolina, began wrapping bands together for an art project tasking students to “make something that describes you”. A keen saxophonist, he made a small saxophone out of chicken wire covered in rubber bands, which started his obsession rolling.

The Appalachian State University graduate said: “Soon I had a whole band of instruments made from rubber bands. Then a classmate told me about a chair design competition.

“It was important that the chair kept the look and feel of the rubber band all the way through.”

He added: “When guests go to sit in it, they start by bracing themselves with their arms and slowly lowering themselves into the chair.

“Within minutes, they’re jumping up and down on it. It’s a reliable chair and feels very safe – every office should have one.”

Pastafarians launch legal challenge

A spoof religion that worships pasta is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after being turned down as an official faith by officials in Poland.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – whose members call themselves patsafarians – say they will ask judges in Strasbourg to rule on their right to exist after being rejected by Poland’s Ministry of Administration.

“This is not the end. Most religions were persecuted at the beginning of their existence. “We declare that we will bring a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,” said the group in a statement.

Patsfarians emerged in 2005 in Kansas, USA, as a parody of organised religions.

Physics student Bobby Henderson launched the movement – which claims the universe was created by an alien made of spaghetti – after local education officials allowed science classes to teach creation theories instead of evolution.

The case could get a legal boost from Austrian pastafarian Niko Alm, 34, who won the legal right to wear his official religious headgear – a colander – on his EU driving licence picture.

“Is our faith is good enough for one member state, surely it must be good enough for the rest,” said the Polish sect.

Post published in: World News

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