VATICAN CITY—Housekeeping staff at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, the official papal residence, were shocked to discover stacks of yellowing newspapers, empty medication bottles, and at least two dozen cats in Pope John Paul II's private apartments this weekend. "We had a very hard time opening the door, and when we finally forced it open, we couldn't believe what we found," maid Giulietta Barricelli said. "Mangy, mewing cats perched atop stacks of newspapers dating back nearly 25 years, plates caked with mold, balled-up Kleenexes everywhere, and cat feces on the carpet. I don't know how the Holy Father, God rest his soul, lived in that horrible, stinking mess." Papal historians claim that some popes develop aberrant pack-rat tendencies late in life, citing Pope Pius XII, who hoarded tin foil and back issues of Catholic Digest.
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