Animals

Pensioner Banned From Feeding Her Cats For Absurd Reason

Edna Watters has a routine. Every day, she heads to Stormont Estate (where the main Irish government buildings are) to feed Ginger, Maggie, and Furby, the cats she has known since they were born.

"I've cared for the cats in Stormont for three decades. I've fed them 365 days a year - on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or whatever occasion it is. I've never missed a day," said the 76-year-old east Belfast woman. "Even when there has been two feet of snow, I've been there. Now, the powers-that-be are stopping me looking after my cats."

Edna says the Stormont Estate Management Unit (SEMU) has officially banned her from the premises because she's a "security risk."

"SEMU has instructed all security guards to ensure that only those visitors with a valid business reason are permitted access to the restricted areas of the estate," the email states.

BBC

Edna doesn't believe the 'security risk' statement, saying the SEMU just doesn't like the cats.

"They're saying it's for security reasons, but they've never liked the cats," she said. "Over the years, they've come up with numerous excuses to stop me feeding them. They're not feral cats at all. Ginger is a bit wilder but you can lift and hold Maggie and Furby, and make a fuss over them."

Edna says she started feeding the cats about 30 years ago when she was a civil servant.

"The powers that be brought in a pest control agency to try to gas them. Another civil servant, Carol, and myself were alarmed," she said. We paid out of our own pockets for as many of the cats as possible to be spayed and neutered."

Geocaching

Edna has enlisted the help of her local member of Parliament to try and get access to her cats again. Currently the cats are being looked after by civil servants during the week, but Edna is worried about weekends.

One thing is for sure, though. Edna is blaming the SEMU and not the security guards who have to enforce it.

"I don't blame the security men, they're only doing what they've been told to do. They are lovely fellows and they all know me because I bring them sausage rolls on Saturdays," she said.

Do you think Edna should be allowed to go see her cats?

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