Feline Quake Survivor Lifts Kiwi Couple's Spirits

 |  Mar 2nd 2011  |   1 Contribution


Catsitters Hans and Nicola Kriek hold Gerry after his rescue from the ruins of his owner's yoga studio.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that left the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in ruins, a four-legged survivor has brightened the spirits of his caretakers.

Gerry the cat bolted from his owner's yoga studio in last week's quake. Sue Busch, who owns the studio with her husband Graham Hennessy, feared for his life.

Several people had contacted Busch to say they had seen Gerry around the Kilmore Street area.

"One lady rang me on Wednesday who had a relative in the PGC building to say she had seen him," Busch said. "How amazing that she would ring me about a cat at a time like that. People are so amazingly kind."

Finally yesterday, the five-year-old orange tabby walked out of the wrecked Caledonian Hall in Kilmore Street and into the arms of a Taiwanese urban search and rescue crew.

Several people had contacted Busch to say they had seen Gerry around the Kilmore Street area, she said.

"One lady rang me on Wednesday who had a relative in the PGC building to say she had seen him," Busch said. "How amazing that she would ring me about a cat at a time like that. People are so amazingly kind."

Nicola Kriek, who is a yoga student at the studio and looks after Gerry when Busch is away, said she had tried to get food to Gerry inside the cordon blocking access to the ruins of the building, but had been turned back.

Later, thanks to the efforts of Tim Smith, the director of a local crane and construction company, he was in the capable hands of Kriek and her husband Hans.

Busch heard the news and was returning from the city of Waimate, about 130 miles (206 km) from Christchurch, yesterday. She said she was absolutely thrilled to have Gerry back.

"We have had him since he was a kitten. He is everybody's cat really. All the students love him," she said. "I last saw him cowering in a corner of the studio absolutely terrified. He shot off."

Thanks to the efforts of a rescue crew and devoted cat sitters, Gerry has been reunited with his owner.

"I'm so grateful," Busch said.

[Source: stuff.co.nz]

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