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    Who paid for wanted cat Lee’s airplane tickets?

    Lee's owner, Selena Ali. Credit: Belga

    Lee, Belgium’s most famous cat, is back in Peru to be quarantined for possibly having rabies, after which he will be flown back to his owner in Antwerp. Lee’s owner has revealed who paid for the cat’s flights to and from Peru.

    The cat was much discussed as its owner, 23-year-old student Selena Ali, flew the cat illegally from Peru to Belgium. The cat risked being put to sleep because he was not certified to be free of rabies. Ali put Lee in hiding and launched an online petition that prompted a back-and-forth with APSCA (Belgium’s Federal Food Safety Agency), resulting in Lee being flown back to Peru to quarantine there.

    Ali has revealed that Kattenadvies iVZW (‘’Cat Advice”), a non-profit organisation in Ostend, is paying for Lee’s tickets. “Its founder, Raf Van Duyse, has supported Lee and me from the beginning,” Ali told TV Familie.

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    “I’m enormously grateful to Raf, because I’ll have to work hard in the coming months anyway to be able to pay my lawyer,” she said.

    Van Duyse had started an online petition to safe Lee’s life, which was signed over 80,000 times, with Kattenadvies’ website announcing “Yes we won! Lee lives!”

    The owner’s lawyer had previously stated that she would pay for the tickets herself. Ali still faces criminal prosecution for bringing the cat into the country illegally but said that the coronavirus crisis meant that she had no other choice.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times