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Lost Berlin Cat Reunited With Owner After Five Years

Sylvana Welski and Pauley
Sylvana Welski and Pauley
Anett Seidler*

BERLIN - It's an animal story with a happy ending, five years in the making.

A Berlin woman who’d lost her tabby cat "Pauley" in 2008 had an almost unthinkable surprise waiting for her at the capital's Tierheim animal shelter. "When I got the letter a few days ago from the shelter saying my cat had been found, I couldn’t believe it,” said owner Sylvana Welski.

When she recovered her last weekend, Welski's tears were so profuse that even shelter personnel were moved. The cat, described as "reserved," recognized the 33-year-old immediately, scampering straight over to her.

After Pauley climbed out an open window that day in late 2008, Welski searched for days, hanging “Missing” posters around her neighborhood. She also contacted the Amtliche Tiersammelstelle (official animal collection point) but to no avail.

ID chip

Even if Pauley had seeminly disappeared forever, she was not forgotten: Welski had gotten her as a very young kitten in early 2006 and bottle-fed her, so she was particularly attached to the cat.

Meanwhile Pauley had indeed been found by a man who lived only a few hundred meters away, and was apparently unaware that it is mandatory to call authorities to report found animals. "The first thing to do is notify the Amtliche Tiersammelstelle or the police and they will send someone to collect a lost animal," says Wolfgang Apel, president of the Berlin animal protection association.

It was only when the finder had Pauley sterilized a few weeks back, and the tabby no longer got along with his other cats after the operation, that he brought her to the shelter. It was then that staff were surprised to find that Pauley had a chip identifying Welski as the owner.

Although Pauley could have been returned immediately after she disappeared, Welski says she bears the man no grudge. "Pauley has been doing well all these years, that’s the important thing. I’m just so happy to have her back."

*This is a digest item, not a direct translation

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Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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