From Dubai to Cape Town, this cat’s got a mew lease on life

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From Dubai to Cape Town, this cat’s got a mew lease on life

Braveheart's pampered life in the Mother City is a far cry from his days on the streets of the emirate

Journalist


A stray cat from Dubai has been an SA resident for a year.
The street cat, named Braveheart, arrived at his furever home a year ago thanks to a crowdfunding initiative.
“In many ways it seems he arrived yesterday and in others we simply couldn’t imagine a period when he wasn’t around. If he came across as loving with a big personality in Dubai, it was the tip of the iceberg to what he does offer,” Carri-Anne Jane said.
Jane was working in Dubai when she adopted Braveheart after he appeared outside her block of flats.
While working in Dubai, she told the Sunday Times, she discovered she would need R20,000 for the cat’s journey to SA.
She managed to raise the money through crowdfunding and with help from her husband, who sold his mountain bike to contribute towards Braveheart’s flight.
During the feline’s first week in SA he managed to bring home two baby snakes and a budgie.
“It must have been lost, sitting in our garden, ripe for the picking by an adult cat exploring his new territory. It was difficult to be angry at him as blue feathers stuck out his mouth like a cartoon cat,” Jane said.
“The snake-charming act, however, was met with disapproval, given that we have Cape cobras in our vicinity.”
But there are still reminders of Braveheart’s years spent on the street.
“He prefers the highest viewpoint in the house to ensure his safety, forever looking up to see where he can climb to and watch from. His favourite is balancing from the top of doors, the top of kitchen cupboards and the fridge. Initially he wasn’t familiar with trees and how to climb them, often getting stuck and requiring help down, now he knows which ones he can get up and down easily, although he still doesn’t favour tree climbing as an activity.
“If he feels trapped, frustrated or lonely he will dig obsessively; doesn’t matter that the tiling is not budging, he will dig until someone distracts him. He has clearly had to use this skill before to escape trouble.”
Jane said the ultimate payoff was watching Braveheart play in the garden, digging molehills and enjoying dirt baths in the midsummer Cape Town heat.
“Or simply finding him sleeping in the shade of the lemon tree or in a flower bed, happy and content, the way a cat should be.”

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