Oyster Box's famous mascot, Skabenga, is back

2015-05-19 19:16
Skabenga the cat. (Facebook)

Skabenga the cat. (Facebook)

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Durban - The Oyster Box’s missing cat Skabenga has been found nearly 10km from his home, the Umhlanga hotel posted on its Facebook page late on Tuesday.

“He was found in Phoenix. A gentleman brought him to the hotel late this [Tuesday] afternoon. Thank you to everyone for prayers support and advice. We are relieved beyond belief,” the hotel said.

Oyster Box spokesperson Joanne Hayes said: "He walked in as if he had never even been away."

It had been thought the cat was ill and he was due to visit the vet on Monday, except he was nowhere to be found.

It was unclear how he managed to get to Phoenix, nearly 10km away and in the two days that he was away, the hotel's phones were inundated with people offering to help find Skabenga.

"The outpouring of support was amazing. Black, white, purple, you name it. Everybody felt a commitment to find Skabenga," said Hayes, who added that the cat had eaten a meal since his return and appeared to be in the best health possible.

"He's definitely not sick. He's eaten his food."

According to footage on the hotel’s CCTV system on Monday morning, he was last seen on Sunday evening. Earlier on Tuesday, Hayes said the de facto mascot had turned his nose up at his food on Sunday.

“On Sunday the staff member who feeds him told the hotel manager that he had been off his food and we decided to make an appointment for him at the vet on Monday, but he hasn’t been seen since,” she said.

“All the staff had been told to keep an eye out for him and obviously the entire property is surrounded by security fencing. In the entire time he has been here he has never gone beyond the boundary line.”

She added that he had several hiding spots and that all had been searched.

“This is really strange behaviour for him. We would obviously ask people if they see him to please call the hotel. There is considerable public concern because we have been inundated with calls about him,” she said.

The hotel’s Facebook page was flooded with messages of support. A few people said they had spotted him.

“My mom-in-law is resident at the oysters [sic] and she saw him outside after the boom gate just before you enter the hotel and he was eating grass and strolling further out,” wrote Euline Adams on Monday evening.

Another woman, Barbara Klusener Smillie, had also seen him, wrote: “I called reception earlier [on Monday] to check the office area, as I was waiting for a friend at about 5pm when I saw him slip behind someone into the office area. When we left at about 6.30 we looked for him but no luck!”

His picture and story was headline news on Durban’s main afternoon newspaper, the Daily News.

Read more on:    durban  |  good news

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