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Mary Ellen in Forest Grove, Ore., has five cats.

We love our cats, Mary Ellen. We wanted them safe.

She knew cats could climb fences and didn't want to drain the pool. In order to keep them safe, Mary Ellen taught them to swim.

Mary Ellen discovered her cats can swim, even if they don't enjoy it.

Her goal wasn't to torture them, but to keep them safe.

I'd recommend clipping their claws before taking them swimming, Mary Ellen said.

The silver Persians weigh an extra 12 pounds when wet, which is part of the reason the lessons only take place once a year.

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