Cat uses lives at post of­fice

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A pet cat thought to be dead for over a year has been found rough­ing it with a mob of home­less mog­gies at an Alexan­dra post of­fice, 15km from home.

Safraya, a four-year-old tabby, was dis­cov­ered liv­ing with a clow­der of cats last week by a group of an­i­mal wel­fare vol­un­teers.

Vol­un­teer Vic­to­ria Bon­ham said the group had been work­ing on a ‘‘case by case ba­sis’’ with help from the SPCA and Queen­stown Cat Res­cue to feed, neuter and re-home some of the stray cats liv­ing around the post of­fice.

‘‘We up­lifted the cat about a week ago, got it scanned and it was mi­crochipped and tracked down the own­ers to Golden Road.’’

The cat’s owner Olivia Blair said her pet went miss­ing from the ru­ral prop­erty, about 15km from Alexan­dra, a year and a half ago.

‘‘I thought she was shot be­cause there were hun­ters liv­ing next door. They were rab­bit shoot­ing at night and we had heard a loud bang. We went look­ing for a cou­ple of weeks but she never turned up. Then I got a phone call about a week ago. I was like...’what?’ I could not be­lieve it.‘‘

Time had not seemed to have changed her much, Blair said.

‘‘She’s still pretty stand-off­ish. She’s still got some of her lit­tle traits - when I come in she runs to her bowl in­stantly. She looked ex­actly like that, fat. Ap­par­ently she was the boss of all those other cats. When they went to feed them, they had to put her in the car so the other cats could get some.’’

Bon­ham said de­spite the per­cep­tion from many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, Safraya’s story proved not all the home­less cats were ‘‘feral pests’’.

‘‘Some have got peo­ple who are still look­ing for them. They all have sto­ries and this group of peo­ple has come to­gether to help - won­der­ful, won­der­ful peo­ple who are do­ing a good job.’’

There were cur­rently about 10 cats liv­ing around the post of­fice.

‘‘The SPCA has done a swoop around the town. They help re­home and advertise, and have days in Cromwell too, get­ting a gauge on how big the prob­lem is..’’

Safraya’s case also high­lighted the value in mi­crochip­ping pets.

Any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing can con­tact Bon­ham on 0275098041.

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Olivia Blair and her cat Safraya, a four-year-old tabby who was dis­cov­ered liv­ing with a clow­der of cats by a group of an­i­mal wel­fare vol­un­teers. She had been miss­ing for over a year.

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