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Miska, the most notorious cat in King County, lawyers up

Miska has allegedly been terrorizing her Bellevue neighborhood for years. (KIRO 7 photo)

Trespassing, unlawful imprisonment, deportation — the case of Miska the tabby cat seems to have it all. The Bellevue cat has racked up dozens of infractions, thousands in fines, and even some hard time, according to her rap sheet that would make Dillinger blush.

Now’s she at the heart of a lawsuit, waged by her owner, which contends that Regional Animal Services of King County has unfairly targeted poor little 10-year-old Miska (about 50 in human years, give or take a couple years).

“This is pretty wild, because plenty of cats are outside and are allegedly trespassing in Bellevue, but none have been treated, or mistreated, in a way that Miska has,” said Seattle attorney Jon Zimmerman, who is representing the cat and her owner, Anna Danieli. “Over 50 or so violations have been issued to allegedly trespassing cats. More than 30 have been issued to Miska.”

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“Miska is very intelligent, but I haven’t given her any reading tests. If she could talk, she would categorically deny all the charges.”

Part of the lawsuit contends a conflict of interest, since one of the complainants lived a few blocks away from Bellevue cat, and also happened to the manager of King County’s animal control at the time. Miska was determined to be “viscous” and an order was signed by Manager Gene Mueller in 2014 to have the cat euthanized or deported from the county, reports KIRO 7.

While that order was vacated by King County Superior Court, animal control later trapped and took Miska to kitty jail. She was released after she made bail; in this case, kenneling fees paid by her owner.

The county has assigned at least four prosecutors to handle the Bellevue cat case, which is a bit baffling to Zimmerman.

“It is quite amazing that even trespassing humans don’t get as much prosecution in King County as Miska,” he joked. “I think she would have had a more fair hearing with King County had she had a jury of canines.”

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How is Miska handling all this? Not that’s it’s easy to tell with a cat, but Zimmerman says she’s managing.

“She’s really trying to enjoy the best years of her life,” he said. “She’s running around, she’s enjoying herself, and most of the time she does actually spend indoors, and she likes to sleep, and she likes to be petted, and she likes to be fed.”

“But she’s been very troubled by the fact that the county’s trying to whisk her away.”

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