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Bunking with cats, inmates learn value of teamwork

Wash. prison inmates get lessons in teamwork and patience from new feline bunkmates By The Associated Press

YACOLT, Wash. (AP) ' The program to match cats with inmates at a minimum-security Washington state prison drew well over 100 applicants.

The perks are evident: Inmates get out of their dorm-style bunking and move into a two-man cell.

Two men and a cat, that is.

Now, two pairs of inmates are responsible for the care, feeding and grooming of Clementine and Princess Natalie.

The cats had problems of their own. They hissed, bit and made a mess. Fed up owners handed them to a shelter, which was preparing to put them down.

But then the program at Larch Correctional Facility in Yacolt gave them a second chance.

Prison counselor Monique Contreras says the inmates learn teamwork and responsibility in a place where they usually learn to just look out for themselves.

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