Help care for feral cats

Maureen Giereke and Colin Booysen feed the cats in the Companys Garden daily.

Two city centre residents, who look after seven feral cats living in the Company’s Garden, need help to provide food for the destitute animals.

The cats live in a corner of the garden next to the Company’s Garden Restaurant, in between little bushes.

Maureen Giereke has been feeding the cats every day for the past two years.

“When I come around the corner with my trolley and they hear, they come running from their hiding spots to get some food. I am here every afternoon, and another man feeds them in the morning,” she says.

Maureen unpacks bowls from her trolley, as well as a number of tins of cat food and some spoons. She scatters the bowls around the garden as the cats appear to come and have their meal.

Colin Booysen takes the morning shift with the cats.

“They are all rescues, and here in the garden, there is no wind but there is also no human contact or shelter.”

He says some of the cats are in the Garden because they’ve been dumped there -like Phoenix.

He pets a ginger cat who has just finished eating.

“Ginger came from Big Bay. She’s very loving and she really needs a home.”

Mr Booysen, who has been feeding the cats for three years, says: “I had a number of feral cats where I used to live near Bo-Kaap, but someone told me there are more cats here who need feeding, so I came here and found them.”

Ms Giereke says she buys food for the cats, and Mr Booysen adds that sometimes The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS) donates food for him to give to them. The organisation has also helped get the cats sterilised.

“Some Saturdays I get them something special, like chicken — they enjoy that,” says Ms Giereke.

“We’ve already named them all, but they are in need of homes. They only have us who feed them.”

While they have been coping over the years, Ms Gerieke and Mr Booysen says it is becoming increasingly costly to feed the seven strays. “We want to ask people to help us with any tinned cat food so that we can continue feeding them.”

Mr Booysen says the cats have chosen this spot in the garden as their home, and he is working on building shelters for them before the cold winter months. “If anyone has old blankets to spare, they can give that too.”

The SCPA did not respond to questions from the CapeTowner by the time this edition went to print.