- Internet Silliness -

Don't believe everything you see or read on the Internet.  There are a lot of Internet hoaxes and urban legends floating around which are just plain "made up".  Don't fall for the free offers and "beta tracker" emails.  Check the validity of email chain letters  before you forward them.

August 16, 2001

The True Story Behind That Giant Mutant Cat
(As reported by KATU news - http://www.katu.com/home.asp)

EDMONDS, WA - It's a picture e-mailed around the world: a smiling, bearded man in his living room, holding, as the headline says, a giant mutant cat. 

Web sites say it's a nuclear accident, that the cat's name is Snowball, she eats raccoons and weighs 87 pounds. 

Well, Cordell Hauglie of Edmonds is the man in that picture holding the remarkable cat. 

He's been on Web sites in nearly every country, and in every language. He and Snowball are international stars. 

"We were getting e-mails back from Israel, Australia, London -- I was recognized in a restaurant one day," says Hauglie with a laugh. "Hey, this is ridiculous." 

It's ridiculous because Snowball was born on Hauglie's computer.

Real Name: Jumper

Snowball is actually named Jumper. And although he (not she) is a big cat, he's been blown a bit out of proportion. 

"It would be nice for all the things I've done in my life to be recognized for something else other than creating a giant cat," Hauglie says. 

A year ago all he wanted to do was send a photo of his daughter's cat. 

"But I said, 'You know, I think we can make him a little larger,' " Hauglie remembers. 

'Don't Believe Everything You See'

He e-mailed the joke to a few friends. They e-mailed it on, and someone, still unknown, attached the made-up mutant storyline. 

Newspapers and Internet sites picked it up as the truth, and an urban legend was born. 

"I thought, 'Who's gonna believe a house cat that is this big?' I mean that's ridiculous!" Hauglie says. 

As it turns out, millions believed, and taught us all an Internet lesson:  Not all things on the Web are what they appear to be. 

"Nothing is beyond belief any longer, especially when it's on the Internet," says Hauglie. "The other lesson is, don't believe everything you see, especially if it's a large cat." 

For More Information:   www.urbanlegends.com