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In Canada, a woman came home to find a bear in her kitchen, eating a bowl of oatmeal. She called the West Vancouver police, but they couldn't persuade the bear to leave. The oatmeal was neither too warm nor too cold. So they shrugged and let it finish eating, and then it ambled away. At least it didn't go upstairs to take a nap.

On this side of the border, similar encounters always seem to escalate in the most unfortunate ways. In West Milford, N.J., a bear wandered into a yard and was very sorry it did. It was treed - by a cat named Jack. In time, the bear reassembled its pride and came down out of the tree, only to be chased up a second tree by the same cat. A photo circulated by the Associated Press shows a forlorn bear, clinging to the narrow trunk, looking dolefully at the cat below. Eventually, Jack's owner brought him inside, and the bear slunk away.

Jack must have felt very pleased with himself - and the bear must have wished he were in Canada.

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