Royal Mail threatened to stop delivering to a couple over claims their miscreant cat was attacking postal workers through the letterbox.
A letter sent to Lee Haynes and Jo Woodley said their tabby’s roaming paws were making visits to their house dangerous.
The pair say Ernie, a ‘placid’ three-year-old, was just playing – but Royal Mail asked for action to protect its workers.
The Royal Mail has been involved in several controversies recently, involving a plan to hike the price of a first class stamp and end Saturday deliveries.
It also failed to hit delivery targets in every British postcode.
Mr Haynes and Ms Woodley from Tamworth, Staffordshire, have now installed an exterior letterbox to protect postal workers from their cat.
Mr Haynes, a school site worker , 44, said: ‘It’s hilarious. He’s such a placid cat and this is like he’s got some kind of ASBO.
Ernie the cat, pictured, threatened postal workers delivering letters to his owners’ Lee Haynes and Jo Woodley’s home in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Lee Haynes, pictured with his partner Jo Woodley and their cat, Ernie, had to install and exterior letter box
‘It’s so funny. They’ve sent [the letter] all the way from Plymouth, instead of just sticking a note on the door.
‘It’s not malicious. It’s a game to him.’
Mr Haynes described his pet as ‘an indoor cat’, who spends much of his life ‘lounging about’.
But when he hears the letterbox he jumps into action.
Mr Haynes said: ‘Ernie spends most of his time lying down but he’s just fascinated by the letterbox.
‘As soon as he hears it he’s there like a lightning bolt.
‘His paw comes out the letterbox to try and grab whatever’s there, but maybe he’s accidentally grabbing the postman’s fingers.
Ernie, pictured, jumps at the letterbox anytime someone tries to post a letter through the door
The Royal Mail said they had an obligation to protect their staff from animal attacks
‘He doesn’t use his claws, just the pads of his paws to try and grab the letter.
‘But I wonder if the postman thought he might scratch.’
The letter, sent in July, was titled ‘Potential suspension of deliveries to your address’.
It said: ‘We’re experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of a cat at your property.
‘Your cat is behind the letterbox clawing at mail and fingers.’
The letter continues, suggesting ways the couple could combat the problem.
It says they have 14 days from the date the letter was received to take action – or it ‘may be necessary to suspend deliveries’.
Mr Haynes spent £30 on an external mail box to protect postal workers from his cat
Mr Haynes, and Ms Woodley, 45, an admin worker, were advised to fit a metal cage on the inside of their letterbox or find an ‘alternative delivery point’.
So Mr Haynes bought a £30 external mailbox and installed on the wall of the house a few days later.
And he said: ‘I think Ernie’s very disappointed.’
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘While Royal Mail is committed to providing a consistent daily delivery to all addresses, we do place the highest priority on the safety of our employees and will ask for appropriate measures to be put in place to ensure they can carry out their role without any harm.’