'Senile' cat takes shelter

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
Merli

MERLI: The sign explaining his circumstances.

Merli
AT HOME: Reformed feral feline Merli, has claimed this Northcote Pt bus shelter as his permanent residence.

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A 17-year-old formerly feral cat, probably suffering from "senile dementia", has claimed a bus shelter as its permanent home.

Merli spends most of his days lying on the bench of a Queen St, Northcote Point, bus shelter.

A sign has been cellotaped to the bus shelter wall, which says the white and dark-haired moggy is deaf and partially sighted.

"At my last visit to the vet I was told that I could have senile dementia," the poster reads.

But rest assured Merli does have a home and whanau - he is jointly looked after by three nearby residents "who love me".

"But I have now decided to leave my permanent home and take up residence in this bus shelter," Merli's sign says.

"I sleep a lot now."

Passers-by are kindly asked not to feed Merli as he returns home in the early morning each day for food and water.

He sleeps on top of what seems to be a beige tea towel, neatly folded across the bench.

Merli has a notorious past, according to the sign.

"I want to apologise for my feral habits where in the past I have attacked humans and dogs. I've become a lot more docile now. Thank you for the many pats and affection you have given me."

A neighbour told the North Shore Times he befriended a neighbour when they lived in Birkenhead. He was feral up until three years ago.

"You couldn't go near him!"

He's now very sweet and exercises occasionally, the neighbour says.

Many people walk past and crack up laughing when they see the sign, she says.

When the North Shore Times visited Merli he was, as you can guess, napping. Not even kissy noises could stir him - probably because he is deaf. But we can confirm Merli was very docile and did not attack our reporter.

He sneezed, so we left him in peace.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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