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QUARANTINE FEES WILL MAKE STOWAWAY CAT COSTLY

A stowaway cat that survived a 48-day journey from London without food or water may wind up being the most expensive feline in Australia.

Dozens of cat-lovers have called animal quarantine officials to say they want custody of the roving feline, which arrived a week ago in a shipping container with a Mercedes Benz. The shipping line and the woman who owns the Mercedes are among those interested.But the stray's owner-to-be will pay dearly.

The black cat must remain in quarantine for nine months. Australia has some of the world's most stringent quarantine laws to keep out rabies and other animal diseases. The tab for looking after the cat will come to at least $1,900 Australian ($1,480 U.S.), the spokeswoman said.