Omar the Disappearing Cat


Action for negligence of D, a veterinarian who owns the Deluxe Cat and Dog Sanitarium. P's complaint alleges that his prize Persian cat, Omar, developed a neurosis in his declining years, so P sent him to D's hospital on June 1 where D accepted Omar as a patient. P's complaint further alleges that on June 2, as a result of D's employees' negligence, Omar escaped and has not been seen since. P seeks $1 million in damages. D's answer denies that he ever received Omar.

(1) At trial, P calls M, who testifes that she is now and was on June 1 the manager of D's hospital. M is excused. P then testifies that Omar was his cat; that on June 1 he instructed his chauffeur, C, whose whereabouts are now unknown, to take Omar to D's hospital; that on the evening of June 1 P stopped at D's office and asked M if Omar had been checked in; that M replied, "Yes, and we are honored to have him." D objects. What ruling and why?

(2) Suppose that M does not testify as in (1) above but that P testifies that when he went by D's hospital on the evening of June 1, the office was locked so he went across the street to a restaurant for dinner. At dinner P told his tablemate about Omar and his tablemate said, "Don't worry about Omar; he's snug in the cat hospital." P then said, "How do you know?" His tablemate replied, "It's my business to know; I'm D's manager." D objects. What ruling and why?

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