‘Freedom camper ate my cat food’


A Queenstown cat charity boss is gobsmacked by a freedom camper’s feral feast.

Julia Milley, of Queenstown Cat Rescue, says a German holidaymaker chowed down on a bowl of cat nuts intended to feed a colony of wild but desexed moggies.

A volunteer had left the food at a local feed box. But when he went to retrieve the bowl on Sunday evening, it was gone.

“There were six young German guys sitting near the feeding box,” Milley says.

“He asked them if they’d seen the bowl. They pointed to Fritz who was sitting there drinking a beer.

“So he’d been sitting there drinking his beer and eating the nuts.”

Milley, whose organisation has desexed and rehomed about 1000 cats or kittens, didn’t want to divulge the location of the feeding box and the German’s campervan. Feeding wild cats is controversial as they impact on the native bird populations.

Last July, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry called on the SPCA to stop its programme of trapping, neutering and releasing stray cats.

Queenstown Cat Rescue, which has been operating for seven years, has the same policy.

“We’re strict no kill,” Milley says.

“Businesses and people contact us when they have cats about.

“We pick them up, desex them, put them back and will also feed them if no one else does.”

Milley says bus inesses such as farms don’t want the cats to breed but are happy to have them around as they kills rats and mice.

“We’ve made a huge impact - you used to see cats running on the Village Green and everywhere but you’d be pushed to see any now.”

Milley says she’s not sure whether the German freedom camper was cash-strapped and hungry or just acting the goat.

“I guess if they’ve had a few beers that’s what they do,” she says.

“But maybe one of his mates tricked him and he didn’t realise what they were.”