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In Brussels’ Terrorist Lockdown, Cats Come Out


To deal with the stress of terrorist threats in Brussels, Belgium, social media users have posted cat pictures. The Verge website attributes this image to @exTimUpperClass.

With their capital city in lockdown for a terrorist dragnet and authorities asking social media users to refrain from revealing any security operations, Belgians are responding with a bravura display of humor.

They’re posting cat pictures.

As a Twitter poster named Anis explained, "#Brussels tweeters told not to let cat out of bag."

Authorities feared that any social media observations about ongoing anti-terror operations might tip off jihadists. So, the Police Fédérale asked for restraint.

Social media answered by pussyfooting around the security issue, pairing hashtags such as #BrusselsLockdown and #BelgianSurrealism with images of cats: in restful spa repose with cucumbers over the eyes, or sniffing at French fries, or lolling like an ingénue on a satiny pink spread.

It’s tragicomedy, a sure way to deal with catastrophe.

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