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Shipyard cat Wolfie, who's lived rough for 10 years, finally gets a purr-fect home

By Rebecca Black

Published 23/07/2015

Wolfie has been rescued by Assisi Animal Sanctuary
Wolfie has been rescued by Assisi Animal Sanctuary
Wolfie was brought to Assisi by one of his many helpers, Maria McKernan

A furry little friend who touched the lives of countless workers in east Belfast is set to escape his life of loneliness after finding a permanent home.

Known by many names - including Sir Gingealot, Pusskins, Aero, Felix, Wolfie and Hope - he has been living rough around the office blocks on the Airport Road for the last 10 years.

He has been adored by many workers who fed and lavished attention on him during their lunch breaks, but recently concerns grew as he started to appear ill.

One of his many friends Maria McKernan contacted Co Down animal charity Assisi to try and find the care that he was clearly starting to need.

After taking him to Assisi she left a notice on the fence thanking everyone over the years for feeding him, and admitted she was in tears after leaving him to be cared for.

While parting may have been painful, the adored cat - now known as Wolfie after the Harland and Wolff shipyard he used to live near - has received medical treatment.

He has been diagnosed with FIV, an immune deficiency disease which makes him prone to infections and contagious to other cats via bites. However, cats can live quite happily for a number of years with the disease providing they are well cared for.

The plucky puss has proven a massive hit on social media.

Almost as soon as the charity placed a photograph of Wolfie on its Facebook page, it was inundated with requests to rehome him - and many relieved messages from those who used to feed him and were worrying about why he had disappeared. One of these is Catherine Kennedy, who had been concerned about his whereabouts. "Me and my partner always stopped off to pet him and to give him some food," she said.

"We always joked about cat napping him as he was the most gentle wee soul. I would love to give Wolfie a forever home."

Stevie Robinson also said he was devastated when Wolfie disappeared.

"We called him Sir Gingealot - don't ask!" he joked.

"I miss seeing him every day. But for the little while we looked for him and couldn't find him; we were devastated.

"So happy that Sir Gingealot's story has a happy ending. I was sitting in the rain like a fool crying my eyes out at the message you left on the railings."

Ally Bennett revealed she called him Felix and had checked on him every morning for the last four years.

Kasey Peters said she called him Dee Street cat.

"He had many food guardian angels. Couldn't fathom him having to suffer one more winter in a lean to," she said.

Rachelle Doherty called him Pusskins and fed him every evening of the week.

"He knew our car and would run up to meet us," she said.

"He adores prawns and would eat them so gently from our fingers. He is just a beautiful wee soul and I wish we could take him but circumstances don't permit. We miss him terribly but have been to Assisi to visit several times."

Mervyn Patterson also tried to catch the cat, which he had named Harley after the cranes, to bring him to safety.

"I used to stop on my way into Shorts to feed him in the mornings - broke my heart during the really cold weather watching him sitting there all alone in that waste ground," he said.

"Hope he is loved and spoiled for the rest of his days."

The Belfast Telegraph can reveal that Wolfie has been adopted by someone with experience of caring for a cat with an immune disorder and will be going to his new home on Saturday to live out the rest of his days being well cared for.

His story reached thousands of people on Assisi's Facebook page but the charity wanted to be able to communicate this happy ending further to let anyone else worried about him know that he is safe and being well cared for.

Belfast Telegraph

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