Garfield heads to the suburbs

Mark Minnies and Garfield, the ginger cat, whom he nurtured to health and strength. .

A roughed up scruffy looking cat, terrified of people, has befriended a nuts and bolts customer relations officer in the Mitchell’s Plain industrial business hive.

About six weeks ago Mark Minnies, a cat enthusiast, started feeding the thin, undernourished ginger cat which had been bruised and covered in oil spots.

Mr Minnies, who has been working in the hive since February, has two cats at home in Retreat and feared that they would not get along with a third feline.

“I would sit on the pavement during my lunch break in the sun. I’d bring some food from home and feed him,” he said.

He then wrote to vet shops for food sponsors, who obliged.

The cat is now fatter and completely meek in Mr Minnies’ hands and has been named Garfield, after the comic strip character portrayed as a lazy, fat, and somewhat cynical cat.

The cartoon cat is known for his love of lasagna and sleeping; and his hatred of Mondays, fellow cat Nermal, and exercise.

“I took responsibility for Garfield as I am a cat lover,” said Mr Minnies.

“Garfield was very scared of people but I have managed, through my cat skills, to tame him so now he waits for me in the morning for his breakfast and then walks with me to the office.

“Lunch times I spend with him and in the evening he sees me off by coming out from under broken cars standing on the complex,” he said.

Mr Minnies put out feelers to fellow cat enthusiasts and this week Garfield will be moving to Bergvliet.

“I’m in the process of getting him a permanent home, have him sterilised and ensure the necessary grooming,” he said.

Mr Minnies said that there is no way Garfield would survive in the hive with the oil spills and unclean water.

“I hope Garfield’s story would inspire readers to care for their pets and show that animals can thrive when cared for,” he said.