There were no security guards or curious crowds, no opulent procession to coordinate, but at the least important wedding of the week things got out of hand anyway. In front of all the guests and with the minister and his intended watching, the groom ran, hid under a sofa and lay there, spitting and glaring and making everybody feel just awful. Finally he was lured out with a toy mouse. But when the wedding music started, he freaked out again and had to be wrapped in a towel. Escaping, he climbed up on the altar and sat there, twitching his tail and looking hostile. Didn't seem to faze the bride, though; she just sat quietly, nursing her five babies.

So went the largely overlooked nuptials of Poison Ivy and Lala, a couple of California cats of no great pedigree. The ceremony, which took place at Dawn Rogers' home in Riverside, Calif., cost $35, including tiny tie-on hats for bride and groom. Rogers, 52, got into the pet-wedding business about five years ago, after her granddaughter, Tawni, then 6, asked her why animals could have babies and not be married. Since acquiring a mail-order minister's license from the Universal Life Church, Rogers has officiated at 17 ceremonies. Animals must not be in heat or belong to separate species. (She was once asked to hitch a snake and a rat just before the rat became the snake's dinner.) So far, she says, she's had a 100 percent record of good marriages. There haven't been any annulment requests. Not one. Not even from Sunday the mare, who was married to Blue the gelding.