Cat Returned To Owner After 8-Year Legal Fight

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Story By: James KingSub-EditorAlex Cope, Agency: Newsflash

A rare Sphynx cat that was handed over to a new owner when his original owner was ill has now been reunited with his first owner after a costly legal battle.

The tug-of-war over the cat that both owners claimed was a loved member of their families went all the way to the Supreme Court Of Appeal in Bloemfontein in South Africa before being settled.

The court heard that original owner Alma van Zyl had arranged for cat breeder Elizabeth Swart to look after the pet during a period of incapacity.


The cat breeder, Elizabeth Swart, said however that she had been called by van Zyl in 2012 to say that the cat called Eros was out of control and that she wanted him rehomed.

As a result the cat breeder had placed him with Bernadette Willers of Polokwane.

But van Zyl claims she never consented to it, and demanded the cat back, resulting in a lengthy legal battle that has now just been settled years later.


New owner Bernadette Willers of Polokwane said she had come to love the cat as part of her family and told Judge Colleen Collis of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that she had even had a tattoo of the cat’s paw put on her arm.

Van Zyl countered that the arrangement was only ever supposed to be temporary, and as she had had Eros since he was a kitten, she wanted him back. She said the cat was the love of her life.

In the end the court sided with the original owner and ordered the second owner to pay all the legal costs.


Police have now seized the cat, and he has been handed back to Van Zyl after nearly eight years out of her care.

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