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Cedar Ridge, CA — The residents of the usually quiet, worry-free neighborhood of  Somerset Drive now have something to occupy their minds. Their neighbors, Peter and Jennifer Johnson, have just acquired a pet cougar.

“We collect all kinds of pets and animals,” said a somewhat exuberant Pete Johnson outside his Somerset Drive home. “All kinds. Exotic to normal. I have this ferret I purchased in Nevada that you can’t get here. The damn thing stole all my wife’s jewelry. Anyhow, we’ve always wanted a cougar, so we bought one.”

According to neighbors, the Johnsons named their pet cougar “Mittens” because they thought it was cute and ironic for such a large cat.

“I bet it won’t be so cute when ‘Mittens’ eats all of the neighborhood pets,” said a concerned and irritated neighbor.

Because the majority of states do not keep accurate records of exotic animals entering their state, it is impossible to determine exactly how many exotic animals are privately held as pets. The number is estimated to be quite high.

“This is a terrible idea,” said Tommy Empire outside his Cedar Ridge home. “This has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve seen since moving here from Vacaville. Peg and I are just going to keep our cats and dogs in until this cougar situation is cleared up.”

Although many states, including California, allow for the possession of “Exotic Pets,” the selling and purchasing of them are prohibited. And stupid.

“Exotic animals do not make good companions,” said an Animal Control Officer who asked to remain anonymous, “They require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot provide. When in the hands of private individuals, animals suffer due to poor care. They also pose safety and health risks to their possessors and any person coming into contact with them.”