The Arizona Cactus-Cat Crisis and the Media Frenzy

"Cross me, and I'll mess you up."<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/66251177@N02/6240325572/">Daniel Lee</a>/Flickr

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Behold, the greatest use of AP column space that has ever been:

SAGUARO LAKE, Ariz. (AP) — A lot of cats get stuck in trees, but an Arizona kitty was perched atop a giant saguaro cactus for at least three days before finally coming down on its own.

Residents living in a desert area northeast of Phoenix noticed the black cat with white patches at the very top of the 30- to 40-foot cactus.

At times, the feline would stand up and survey the area, possibly trying to figure out how to get down — or how it got up there.

Helicopter video from ABC15.com…shows the cat eventually climbing down the cactus Friday. It started making its way down head-first before turning around and scooting backward. It finally took a big leap and landed on its feet before wandering into the desert.

The story was picked up by folks at the Washington Post, the UK’s Daily Mail, the Chicago Tribune, UPI, Indiana’s the News-Sentinel, Salon.com, and the Huffington Post, all of whom likely thought that the cat made for more compelling weekend news than yet another Republican debate.

Here is the ABC affiliate’s helicopter footage (take a minute to absorb that: helicopter footage…) of the gripping climax of the great 72-Hour Saguaro Lake Cactus-Cat Crisis of November 2011:

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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