'Thatcher Has Died' —But Not That Thatcher

Canadian official's cat dies, setting off a diplomatic snafu
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 10:39 AM CST
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is alive and well.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – When a Canadian official's beloved cat died, he texted a friend with the sad news: "Thatcher has died." See where this is going? That friend happened to be at a diplomatic dinner, and next thing you know, word had spread lickety-split that Margaret Thatcher had passed away. Canadian PM Stephen Harper was informed, and the government placed calls to confused officials in Britain, reports the BBC.

"If the cat wasn't dead, I'd have killed it by now," said an aide to Harper, who had already started to prepare a letter of condolence.