There’s no love lost in the case of Eros the Sph­ynx cat

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

THE high court in Pre­to­ria is due to de­cide this week what is in the best in­ter­est of a pure­bred Sph­ynx cat called Eros – and ei­ther way, trou­ble is ex­pected.

Alma van Zyl of Pre­to­ria said in pa­pers be­fore court that Eros was the love of her life and in fact beauty per­son­i­fied.

She is set on fight­ing for her hair­less boy, who is more than a pet to her.

But Ber­nadette Willers, of Ruim­sig in Rood­e­poort, with whom Eros had been stay­ing since the end of 2012, claims it is in Eros’s best in­ter­est to re­main in her care.

The mat­ter was be­fore court in May last year, but it was post­poned in­def­i­nitely as the case was not ready to pro­ceed.

Van Zyl’s lawyer, Mariza Oelofse, said yes­ter­day that they were due to be back in court to­day to get the cat back.

Willers, in re­turn, had sub­mit­ted a counter-claim for the ex­penses she in­curred over the years for Eros’s main­te­nance – if the court de­cides the cat has to go back to Van Zyl.

But both par­ties are adamant about not giv­ing up Eros. “My client’s po­si­tion has not changed over the years. She is still as driven as ever to get Eros back, if not more so.

“This is a se­ri­ous mat­ter and I am work­ing equally hard on this case as on any other case,” Oelofse said

She said peo­ple should not joke about this trial, be­cause the law cov­ers ev­ery­body and ev­ery­thing.

“In­so­far as the law is there for us, we’ll use it.”

She said both par­ties were well aware of the le­gal costs in­curred in cases be­fore court, but they were will­ing to take their chances.

Van Zyl, mean­while, said in her court pa­pers: “I want my lit­tle blue-eyed boy – my lit­tle lion – back.”

Her prob­lems started in 2012 when she asked Willers to take care of the cat for a while, as he had a panic at­tack and pre­sented with anx­i­ety prob­lems.

Willers re­fused to hand the cat back to Van Zyl, ar­gu­ing that, apart from Eros be­ing happy with her and be­ing well cared for, his men­tal state was also much bet­ter.

But Van Zyl, who has a tat­too of the cat on her body, said she had al­ways been a de­voted mother to Eros un­til he was re­moved from her care.

Van Zyl is ask­ing the court to in­struct the sher­iff to fetch the cat and hand it back to her.

Willers’s de­fence is that Eros had suf­fered mis­treat­ment and abuse at the hands of Van Zyl and that he was mal­nour­ished.

She also said she spent more than R100 000 on re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing Eros, in­clud­ing an­tide­pres­sants, which she now wanted back.

Both par­ties have called nu­mer­ous ex­perts, in­clud­ing an­i­mal be­haviourists, to tes­tify on their re­spec­tive be­halves.

I want my lit­tle blue-eyed boy – my lit­tle lion – back

Pic­ture: ANA Ar­chives

Alma van Zyl and Eros the cat.

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