Edna Watters is heartbroken. After being labeled a security risk, the 76-year-old retiree can no longer feed the cats she has looked after all of their lives. The cats live on a large government estate west of Belfast.
Edna is very worried about her feline friends; she has no idea what will happen to the cats who depend on her–Ginger, Maggie and Furby–whom she has known since they were born.
“They say I’m a security risk, which is nonsense,” Watters told the Belfast Telegraph. Edna started caring for the cats on the government estate 30 years ago while working as a civil servant, after discovering there were 25 feral cats living on the grounds.
“I’ve cared for the cats in Stormont for three decades,”she said, referring to the government estate west of Belfast. “I’ve fed them 365 days a year – on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or whatever occasion it is. I’ve never missed a day.”
“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 is barred from feeding her beloved cats under new security measures adopted by Stormont Estate Management Unit, which stated the following: “SEMU takes the view that visitors providing food for feral cats does not constitute a business need and as such entry has been refused and will be so going forward.”
“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.” Furby is 20 and Maggie is 12. Maggie and Furby live on the grounds of Stormont House and Ginger lives just up the steps in the walled garden.