The search among Hibiscus Matters readers for a name for Whangaparaoa Police’s new cat, in the last edition, was solved in an unexpected way, with the former owners of the cat coming forward.
Natasha Atwell and Matthew Gillespie were excited to see their cat, Ash, on the paper’s front page as he had been missing since lockdown.
The couple lives not far from the police station and were quickly reunited with Ash, who came to Natasha when called.
Natasha says she found him about a year ago near where she works in Glenfield, on Ashfield Road (this is how he got his name). He was a skinny stray and eventually she brought him home to Manly after trying to find the owner.
The family has three other cats and Ash didn’t get on with all of them. He occasionally wandered and, a week into lockdown, went missing again. “I’ve been so worried as he’s had a hard life and I didn’t want him to be out there again, looking for food,” Natasha says. “I saw him in the paper and said ‘that’s our cat!’”
Natasha says when they visited him at the station it was clear he was happy and settled. “There was no way I could take him away,” she says. “He is the perfect cat for the role, as he doesn’t like other cats.”
Natasha and Matthew decided to leave Ash with the station, which watchhouse officer and chief cat carer Charlotte Jones is very happy about.
Thanks to everyone who entered the Hibiscus Matters cat naming competition – the Police were thrilled with the names, but decided to stick with Ash, as Natasha and Matthew wished.