Cat attacks Santa during photo shoot

December 10, 2008 6:12:44 PM PST
A kitty that is 90 percent bobcat didn't appreciate sitting on Santa's lap.Jonathan Bebbington was playing the jolly old elf during a Santa Paws photo event at a PetsMart store when he was bitten Sunday on the wrist and hand. The event was to raise money for Penny Angel's Beagle Rescue group.

Click above to watch Philadelphia sister station WPVI's report on the story.

The cat and owner disappeared after the incident, but returned later with paperwork to show there was no risk for rabies.

"It had absolutely huge paws, like 3 inches around," said Joan Kerr, president of Penny Angel's.

The cat, named "Benny," appeared terrified because dogs were nearby, Bebbington, 47, told The Press of Atlantic City.

"It had very powerful jaws and big teeth," he said, estimating the cat weighed about 30 pounds.

The woman who brought it to the store told people there she bought the cat from a breeder in Wyoming for $1,500.

"Her last words were, 'I have a permit and the cat has all his vaccines,' " Bebbington said.

Benny has been confined to his home for two weeks as a precaution.

"I don't want anything to happen to the cat," he said. "It's a beautiful animal and was naturally scared."

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