He's 'The One': World's rarest cat found living rough in Cape Town
One of the rarest cats in the world has been found living under a bush in Cape Town’s Company’s Garden.
The Lykoi‚ or “werewolf cat”‚ found by the TEARS Animal Rescue feral cat team‚ is South Africa’s only natural-born Lykoi and one of only 35 in the world.
US vet Johnny Gobble‚ a Lykoi expert‚ said although they had been bred in South Africa‚ “the little Lykoi at Tears is the first natural mutation in South Africa reported".
The kitten is one of a litter of six taken to Tears in March after their mother – a domestic tabby — disappeared.
Gobble said all naturally occurring Lykoi had been found running wild. “We have some from shelters‚ some from feral cat colony trap-and-release programmes‚ and some that were found on the streets.
“This is why we call the Lykoi a second-chance breed. All of the cats in the starting programme were rescues. They have great personality overall‚ and we have found no genetic health problems so far. Since they come from the feral colonies‚ I think they have great immune systems.”
Since monitoring of the breed began in 2011‚ there have been 34 reported natural mutations from around the world.
At first‚ due to its strange appearance and behaviour — he did not play as a typical cat would‚ and displayed qualities that were more dog-like — Tears staff thought the cat was ill.
They have now named him Eyona — Xhosa for “The One” — and will make him the centrepiece of a “Quest for Hidden Treasure” campaign‚ in which they will ask for food‚ blankets and medicine‚ as well as adoptive homes for abandoned cats and dogs.
Eyona‚ however‚ will not be looking for a home. Tears has decided to keep him.
TMG Digital/The Times