TO MARK Leathers, Buffy is more than just a cat. He raised the fluffy 13-year-old feline with great love, getting up early for years to feed her.
He installed an air conditioner in his Durban home so she wouldn’t suffer in the heat and even named his private plane after the chinchilla-Persian beauty. He treats Buffy like royalty, even importing her food all the way from Portugal.
“People think I’m crazy when I refer to my cat as my child. I’m not crazy. I know Buffy is a cat, but to me she’s like my child,” Mark (37) tells YOU.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Mark and his ex-wife, Lisa VisserLeathers, are now involved in a bitter catfight to determine the ongoing comfort and security of their beloved Buffy.
When Mark and Lisa went their separate ways in July last year, Mark decided to leave Buffy with Lisa in the home the couple used to share.
“Buffy was used to the house and I wanted to make life as easy as possible for her – cats don’t like change.
“At first, I didn’t need to get visitation rights. We had an agreement and I visited Buffy every 10 days or so.”
But then his ex decided to put Buffy in a cat hotel for three days while she went away on holiday. That’s when the claws came out.
“The cat’s never been to that hotel. She isn’t familiar with other cats. She has her own routine and it would’ve been better for her to come to me or for me to go to her, but my ex-wife wouldn’t hear of it.”
So Mark felt he had no choice but to approach the court for an urgent interdict preventing Lisa from putting Buffy in the cat hotel.
The high court, however, struck the application from the roll on 23 April because it didn’t adhere to the requirements of urgency.
Mark, however, isn’t about to back away.
“There’ll be more legal action. It’s not about whether or not I think my ex-wife can take care of Buffy – I want all decisions and actions to be in Buffy’s best interests.”
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