Ignore That Cookie Monster Cat Email From State Dept.

US Embassy in Australia blames 'training error' for odd email blast
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2018 8:35 AM CDT
Ignore That Cookie Monster Cat Email From State Dept.
We don't have photo rights to the photo in question (see link to it in story), so we picked something in the same vein.   (Getty Images)

The US hasn't had an ambassador to Australia in place for two years, the longest stretch since WWII—which may explain why things are getting low-key chaotic Down Under at the American embassy. The BBC reports that an apology has been issued after a "training error" resulted in a rather odd email, subject line "meeting," blasted out to an unknown number of people. Included in the now-viral message from the US State Department: a picture of a cat in a Cookie Monster-style outfit, grasping a plate of cookies, and an invitation to attend an upcoming "cat pyjama-jam." (See the image here.) The message also included words in Latin and an RSVP button for the "jam."

"It was a training error made by one of our new staff testing out our email newsletter platform," State Dept. rep Gavin Sundwall tells the Aussie AP, acknowledging many will be disappointed by the rescinding of the invite, but that "such an event falls well outside our area of expertise." Sundwall promises "strong new management controls" are being looked at to make sure Cookie Monster Cat and other non-governmental mascots don't go viral via email again, per the Guardian. Mashable adds that the photo was likely taken by Jennifer Stewart of Melbourne; her photos of onesie-clad cats post to the Instagram account @my_furry_babies. (Read about another email goof, this one in Utah.)

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