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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Big Apple Taxis The Pits? Not With Star Safety Tips

Associated Press

The smoky voice, unmistakable, filled the cab like a kitten’s soft purr. It was Eartha Kitt, and the sultry entertainer wants you … to fasten your seat belt.

The ex-Catwoman is one of seven celebrity voices destined for New York’s 12,053 medallion cabs next month as the city enlists some star power in a campaign to emphasize taxi safety.

A digital device rigged to the taxi meter will allow passengers to hear the celebrities’ voices when they enter and exit the cab. Joining Kitt in the talking taxis are comedians Jackie Mason and Joan Rivers, actor Judd Hirsch of “Taxi” fame, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, sex therapist Ruth Westheimer and tenor Placido Domingo.

“This is Eartha Kitt,” the renowned performer began in a soft, seductive tone.

“Cats have nine lives. Rowwwwrrrrrr. But unfortunately, you have only one. So buckle your seat belts for safety.”

At the end of the ride, her voice returned: “This is Eartha Kitt again, back to remind you to take your belongings with you and to get a receipt from the driver. Have a purrrrr-fect day. Rowwwwrrrrrr.”

Other celebrities have signed on, and the voices will change every four to six months.

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