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Paranoid Times

That’s enough good news.


Question: Is your cat staring at you? Is your dog following you? It’s probably nothing…. I don’t want to scare you for no reason, but your pets may be working for the Russians. Let me explain.

I was reading about how Sauli Niinistö was re-elected president of Finland this week despite being less charismatic than his dog Lennu, a Boston Terrier with “a naughty streak [who] sometimes behaves as if all presents are meant for him,” according to The New York Times. No problem there.

But then I learned that one of former Finnish president Tarja Halonen’s three cats was a gift from then-Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, and that the cat was “occasionally suspected of being bugged.”

We live in paranoid times, and it’s dangerous to overplay this kind of thing. I don’t believe our TVs are listening to us — though the Russians really are absolutely everywhere these days. Just keep an eye on Rex and Fluffy, especially if they start dragging home suspicious-looking political pamphlets. It’s probably nothing.

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Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

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