27/02/13: This is big Merlin, a 6.5 kg lamb of a cat, completely gentle and now about 2.5 years old. He IS an Almerimar cat, and we had planned to leave him in the port because he was being fed by a number of people and seemed relaxed and healthy outside. We had also been told that somebody last year had tried to adopt him and he had gone a little crazy to get out. Things have however changed this week. Pam saw him on both Saturday and Sunday mornings completely wet. She believes that her older strays had chased the new impostor into the water. She had also seen injuries consistent with him struggling to get out. We went to check on him on Sunday afternoon, and he IS injured from scrapes and bites, has infected eyes, parasites, a cold, AND had a lot of oil on his tail we think from the water, which my vet had to shave off yesterday.
Merlin was first seen in the port at the end of last summer so he has been outside for over 6 months. At first he had a collar and people thought he was an owned cat. Then later when Pam asked the owners of the bars, she was told that people were feeding him and that he was abandoned. I believe that he is at risk now and that it is not right for this beautiful tame cat to be left outside. This is why he will now stay inside and I will re-home him. Feral cats do belong outside, because they know how to hunt and can fend for themselves with some help. Cats like Merlin are too gentle to live this life among more aggressive ferals, and they need the care and human attention that they are used to. I am not sure why Merlin reacted badly to being rescued last year. He is now completely relaxed inside, maybe because he knows Pam well. He will stay in her office for the few next days while he recovers. Merlin is not a stray. He is not an outside, hunter, port cat. Now that I have met him I am sure that Merlin is a pet, and pets deserve proper loving homes. This is what we will now find for Merlin.