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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 August 2018

Save Gussy: cat abandoned at Abu Dhabi bus stop waits months for owners to return

Gussy, as people who feed him have called him, was tossed out of a car by his owners

This is Gussy, he was abandoned four months ago and is looking for a home. Courtesy: Jo Cathrine
This is Gussy, he was abandoned four months ago and is looking for a home. Courtesy: Jo Cathrine

UPDATE: Abandoned Abu Dhabi cat Gussy receives 'overwhelming' response from readers

A cat abandoned by his owners at an Abu Dhabi bus stop is still waiting for them to return, four months later.

Gussy, as he has been called by the people who feed him, never leaves the area around the bench at the bus stop where he was left in Al Bateen near the Intercontinental Hotel.

Kristi Larson, from the US, started feeding the Arabian Mau-Turkish Angora mix cat after noticing him out on her daily morning walks.

"I would of course bring him food, and noticed people catching the bus would leave him food as well," said Ms Larson, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for seven years.

"One morning, a street cleaner told me that Gussy was dumped right at the bus stop. The owner just tossed him out of the car. The street cleaner said Gussy never went far from the bench."

Jo Cathrine has taken over feeding Gussy a tin of cat food and some cooked chicken each morning while Ms Larson is away.

“It’s so sad because he just sits there waiting,” she said.

Ms Cathrine, who feeds the the Arabian Mau-Turkish Angora, called him a 'a beautiful loyal boy'. Courtesy: Jo Cathrine
Ms Cathrine, who feeds the the Arabian Mau-Turkish Angora, called him a 'a beautiful loyal boy'. Courtesy: Jo Cathrine

“You can tell he has been domesticated because he is very tame and he will sit on your lap,” added Ms Cathrine.

“He is OK but he is starting to get a little bit dirty. He is still in good nick, but he’s just starting to get a little bit rough round the edges,” Ms Cathrine said.

Ms Cathrine, 44, from the UK, who posted about his plight on the Abu Dhabi Q&A Facebook page, said he is also very caring, having protected a kitten one day that was sick with flu.

“I went one morning as usual and I heard this noise in the bush and this tiny black and white kitten came out. It had snot all over its face, lots of mucus, I thought it might have cat flu. I was on a run, so I ran home and got the cat box and put it in the car,” she said.

“Luckily the kitten was still there. I think he was protecting the kitten. He was standing underneath Gussy.”

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Read more:

Puppies dumped in Dubai die after being infected with deadly virus

Animal welfare campaigners vow to block rogue pet shop from reopening

Shop in Dubai that sold sick dogs has live animals licence suspended

Unvaccinated puppies brought into UAE ‘spreading deadly dog virus’

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Ms Cathrine took in the kitten as she could not return him to the streets, but with seven cats already, she does not have room to take Gussy too. But she visits him every morning to feed him and make sure he is OK. He is neutered, she said.

“I remember putting the kitten in the box and Gussy was looking to say why wasn’t that me. And he does look, when he sees the car driving away, he does just sit there and look. I keep telling him ‘one day it’s going to be your turn, mate’.”

She hopes that someone will rescue him.

“It’s such a sad story about a beautiful loyal boy,” she said.

Animal welfare experts estimate that there are around 100,000 stray cats living in the capital alone. And there are many cases of abandoned and abused pets each year.

In June, Afra Al Dhaheri, the founder and owner of Cloud 9 Pet Hotel and Care called for the establishment of a special legal task force to combat animal cruelty after the business spent Dh300,000 treating abused animals last year alone.

The UAE has already tightened up laws in relation to animal cruelty in recent years.

UAE Federal law 18 raised fines from Dh5,000 to Dh200,000 with a prison term of up to a year for anyone caught abusing, illegally hunting or buying or selling animals after a string of animal welfare abuses were exposed on social media.

Anyone interested in adopting Gussy should email ecookman@thenational.ae.

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