Due to the persistence and dedication of The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS) volunteer, Celeste van Schalkwyk, a domestic cat that had been missing for four months was found and caught at Cape Gate shopping centre in Brackenfell last week.
Mixit, a female tabby, was brought to Brackenfell from Paarl on November 25 last year to be sterilised, and on the eve of her procedure, she escaped and went missing from Rebecca Crescent in Die Tuin, Brackenfell.
Her situation highlighted the issue of feral cats (“Colonies of feral cats ‘need not happen’”, Northern News, January 27)
Ms Van Schalkwyk told Northern News, “I do have very good news. After I caught Mixit and she got sterilised last week Thursday, her teats were full of milk and the vet said she has kittens of six to seven weeks.
“We all, the Brackenfell Queens (the volunteers) started looking for them at Cape Gate, where I trapped her. We looked in the drains and I called the SPCA, they came out the one evening to look,” said Ms Van Schalkwyk.
“Then one lady, she is like an animal communicator told us that we have to look close to building materials, bricks.
“…Unfortunately they distributed all the kittens among the workers there. There was only one kitten left and a home was quickly found for him… Mixit is just skin and bone after the kittens.
“But Mixit surely has an angel watching over her.”
Ms Van Schalkwyk, who lives in Protea Heights, told Northern News that volunteers are filling every available space in their home with stray kittens who are not homed.
Feral cats are the “wild” offspring of domestic cats, and come about as the result of pet owners’ abandonment or failure to neuter their animals, allowing them to breed uncontrolled.
For months, Ms Van Schalkwyk took to sitting weekend nights at the shopping centre where she put out food, hopeful the cat would turn up so that she could capture it.
But Ms Van Schalkwyk said most cats shy away from humans or disturbances.
She said feral cat colonies are a concern in shopping centres, business development parks, food factories, outside restaurants and any areas where there are garbage containers as they ferret around for food. But finally she got lucky and spotted the moggy and managed to capture her.
Mixit is due to be reunited with her owners, who are currently on holiday, in the next few days on their return.
Ms Van Schalkwyk stressed, “Please put out the message that if you have a cat, love it and keep it and sterilise it.”
For more information, call Ms Van Schalkwyk on 021 917 5777 or 084 941 1313 or visit www.tears. org.za