Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary: News

By Leanne at Kays Hill

At the moment at Kays Hill we have 15 kittens, ages ranging from about 4 weeks old to about 5-6 weeks old. We also have 23 cats from 1yr to 6 yrs. Then we have 11 feral cats with ages ranging from about 10 months to 11 yrs.

Tux a rescue cat

Tux a rescue cat

Some of the ferals may be older but we don’t really know their ages. We have rehomed a few lately but not as many as we’d obviously like to. People have come and looked and said they would be back but they haven’t returned, which is always sad because its a potential home everytime someone comes to see the cats, especially when a person seems to really like a particular cat.

However, there is a home for every cat out there it just sometimes takes a while. We rehomed Meg the other day who is a beautiful long haired all black queen who had been with us forever! She wasn’t really keen on other cats so needed to be an only cat and the only people who had been interested in her had at least one other cat.

At last, last week, a nice young couple came and fell for her, as far as we know all is well up to now. We have a gorgeous ginger queen who came in with her three beautiful kittens, two dark torties and a semi-long haired ginger, (very cheeky) tom.

One of the torties was chosen by a nice family, the ginger boy is going to one of our volunteers and Rosie, the mam, is to be rehomed to a very nice lady so we just have to find a lovely home for the little tortie and the whole family can go off to their new homes and begin to really enjoy life.

Click this for lots of interesting pages about Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary, UK. (opens a new page)

We lost one of our old ferals a couple of weeks ago. We realised she hadn’t been in for her supper so we looked around for her but there was no sign, as she never went too far we weren’t worried too much. Food was left out for her, as well as all the others and we figured she would be back, if not that night, the next morning, shouting hungrily and demanding her breakfast.

When we didn’t see her the next morning we were starting to get worried. We received a phone call from a neighbour to say a cat was on the bridleway at the back of the sanctuary, when we looked, it was Sue. She was curled up, partially under the hedgerow and although our neighbour thought something bad had happened to her it hadn’t.

She was looking very peaceful when Kevin picked her up, curled up as if she had just gone to sleep. She was at least 18 yrs old and had always been feral, she would only come to anyone if she wanted feeding. We hadn’t had her a very long time but she had seemed happy enough here. She died as she had lived, out and about doing her own thing with no-one to tell her otherwise. Bye bye Sue.

I think this place must be full of spirit cats. Over the years we have lost a few to old age: Bramble, Jerry, Katie, Raggy, to name but a few. We lost Karrot last year to illness. Thankfully in the seven years we have ‘only’ lost one to the busy main road. That was little Daisy who was the most feral cat we have ever had, she was ferocious, but tiny! I like to think of them all visiting us from time to time.

The cat we have at the moment we would most like to rehome is Briar. A beautiful tabby and white queen. She is so nervous, but really wants to be friends. She just doesn’t know how to be.

We try to spend time with her and she is better than she was but although she is very pretty no-one to wants a ‘problem’ cat. They don’t seem to understand that in a home environment she would blossom given the chance. Her new home is out there somewhere!!

I have just had a phone call from someone wanting to come and see the little dark tortie kitten. fingers x’d!!!

We are getting so many phone calls from people who ‘need’ to rehome their poor animals for a variety of reasons, we just can’t take in over and over again. We can only take in when we have space. We will move around to try to make as much space as possible but it gets to the time when we just do not have any more space.

We feel guilty, but we always give out other numbers and we obviously put them on the waiting list. The trouble is we know that everyone else is full too. When people get aggressive and abusive towards us because we can’t take in their unwanted ‘pets’ it gets very depressing. Never mind….if we can get more cats rehomed we can take in more. The phrase ‘vicious circle’ springs to mind.

On a happier note the four ferals we have awaiting release in the feral unit are coming on great and it shouldn’t be long before we can release them. The cat in the photo is one of our ferals, Tux.


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Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary: News — 26 Comments

  1. Great update. I enjoyed reading it. Two things stick in my mind, in order of impact:

    • People who are nasty to you because you can’t take their cat. I find that shocking and disgusting. I don’t know how you put up with it.
    • You have a lot of cats! Phew. It can be hard to rehome them all just because of sheer numbers.

    You’re doing fantastic work though and PoC and Marc are proud to help.

  2. This is something I learnt about our relationship with cats that might help your visitors choose a cat:

    The cat’s appearance does does not matter in the medium to long term. You can love any cat that you connect with and get the best out of. Even cats that seem to be aggressive. That aggressiveness will fade if plenty of love comes his way and when it fades the bond between cat and human is better.

    People should learn a bit about cats and what makes them tick and then adopt the most needy cat and provided there is plenty of love from human to cat the relationship will flourish into a beautiful union full of reward and pleasure.

  3. thank you michael. most people are nice, whether they want to take a cat or give a cat to us. unfortunately there are always people who think that the world owes them a living and nothing is their own fault!! just noticed something. i have worded the news update wrongly. i was saying about the kittens and have said that the oldest kittens are 5-6 weeks old, thats not right, we have 3 that are 8 weeks old too. sorry about that. i have someone coming back tomorrow to see harry, a beautiful white cat but a bit stroppy, he also said he was going to take a look at briar again too. i’m trying not to get excited about it, but fingers x’d. thank you again michael and everyone else for your support and good wishes.

  4. Lovely to read all your news Leanne, especially as it’s a wonder you have time to write with all you have to do.
    It always amazes me how many good homes you find for so many cats and kittens.
    Sorry about Sue but what a great way for a feral to go, just to curl up and go to sleep in the outdoors she loved.
    Good luck with more rehomings 🙂

  5. Thanks for a really nice update Leanne 🙂 – so much sadness and so much joy – the true meaning of a rollercoaster of emotions. But these emotions are so raw and so much more real than for me sitting in front of my computer at work occasionally having a bad day at work. I wish I could help and feel quite useless being unable to – I’m too far away. Tux looks like a nice cat. The story of Sue going to sleep one last time outside in the nature, her real home, is very peaceful and somehow satisfying in that it’s the most you could want if one will die, that it be peaceful and dignified, at home on a warm summer day/night. I would still be very sad though.

    It’s a great thing that you are based in the nature enough that the ones who need their freedom have places to be and things to do – you are not in the middle of a city or something. I’d love to be on ‘feral cat duty’. I’d be proud to gain the trust of any one of those cats.

    Hopefully things will calm down a bit after the kitten season passes but something tells me there will always be an overflow of kittens to deal with.

    I think the world is a better place with Kevin and Leanne and Kay’s Hill. You guys give me some kind of hope in the face of so many seemingly hopeless things – so thanks alot – and also for taking the time after a long hard day to write to us with an update on how things are going 🙂

  6. Lovely to have an update from KH, sad about Sue but a perfect way to go and one she probably chose for herself. It must have been gruelling these last few days with it being so hot and so many animals to care for without having to deal with heartless and selfish people who just want rid no matter what, thankfully there are more kind people than the other type. Good luck from me too with the rehoming, you do such a good job.

  7. Wonderful, wonderful! The fact that Sue lived to be 18 as a feral amazes me. It is proof that the Brits are more willing to take care of feral cats. Our feral’s, where they still exist, are very antisocial and rarely fed by anyone but themselves I think. I’m not saying all feral’s go without regular feedings, just most of them. Thank you for helping those beautiful cats!

    • Dan, if this is true of where you live, in Tempe? AZ, then you had better get your butt in gear, soldier! 😉 do what you can.

      • We don’t have many feral’s here. I haven’t seen one in 25 years. We worked hard to take care of the problem. We do get strays from time to time. So I still get a chance to show the love.

        • You are better than me, Dan! I only get out to the colonies’ grounds once/wkly now. (no vehicle) I’ve never been to Tempe. What is your favorite site/landscape there? Thank you for what you do. 🙂

          • We are a landlocked suburb of the city of Phoenix. We have a beautiful man-made lake in the Salt River bed that runs through Northern Tempe. Our most famous landmark is Grady Gammage, a beautiful building designed by Frank Loyd Wright on the Arizona State University Campus. It is where all the Broadway plays are performed when tours come to town. My favorite landmark is the Niels Petersen House built in 1892. It is a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian style home. I was able to see the home twice, once during the off-season and once on the tour itself. There was a skeleton found on the property that was on tour, so we missed it both times. The stairs are so narrow I felt like a giant walking up them. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

            I did what I could for the cats, but the work was done by others before we moved here (when I was 12). Being a university city, we had some forward thinking people here that not only took care of our feral problems, but built numerous bike paths, started one of the first city-wide recycle programs in the country (which monies were used to buy the first of our light up street signs that are now at every major intersection and street light in the city) and a clothes exchange, where college kids could drop off clothes and/or pick up new ones. It’s my favorite city in the entire world.

            The feral problems I’m aware of are from online sources.

            • I had no idea, Dan, that you had a Frank Lloyd Wright structure, building, my hero! (Mr. Wright passed away the day that I was born.) I am going to go check out your city’s history, the recycling program [awesome] and the revolutionary street signs, right now. 🙂

  8. bit of good news to tell you before i start the evening rounds of watering and feeding. two of our older kittens have been rehomed today. i know the homes they have gone to will be very loving forever homes. been scorching hot again today so the hose pipe has been in use all day for everyone from pigs to donkeys. well filling up water barrels for the donkeys etc, its only the pigs who enjoy actually being sprayed with it! just fed our hedgehog babies, who seem to be doing great. after being sprayed yesterday and having maggots crawl out of their little ears, they MUST be feeling better. they are quite lively now and we’re having to be careful as tux and ollie, two of the feral cats, seem very interested in them!! our ‘hoglets’ are definitely NOT on the menu. sue will just join our little gang of spirit cats who i’m sure hang around the place.i usually grab a few minutes on the computer when we’re having a coffee break, or like now, when its quiet, at night, and they are all in either eating or waiting for supper. on that note i really had better go before they all think they are going to be starved!!

    • That’s good news about the two kittens Leanne, I don’t know HOW you do it!
      I’m still full of admiration for all those older traumatised cats you eventually found homes for after the Kays Hill tlc worked its miracle and they became rehomeable.
      Poor hoggie babies. We have none coming here now for the first time since we moved here, but thankfully ‘Sylvia’ the rat seems to have moved on too now we don’t need to put meal worms out for them.

    • After the real life ‘rat’ who deserted her sinking ship and left her 15 passengers behind……

  9. latest news from kays hill is i’ve managed to break my fingers having a wrestling match with freeno, our 16.3 ex race horse! he has cut his leg and needed the vet. i brought him down from the field, he was’nt happy about that, he HATES being inside.so by the time the vet arrived he had been in the stable about 15 mins, he thought this was a great imposition!! got him out to walk him up and down and could immediately tell how much ‘fun’ this was going to be. walked him to the top of the stables and he stopped, stood as upright as he possibly could, i thought ‘oh dear’ (or words to that effect!!!)and up he went, i heard the bones break, as well as feeling them, the vet asked if i was ok, i didnt want to make a fuss so said yes and went on walking him up and down. by the time we’d finished he’d reared 5 or 6 times and i could have cried with pain!! lol anyway we got him sorted. the vet says he is dangerous, to be honest he is a bit. a couple of years ago i ended up at hospital because of a fractured skull (yes, same horse)he has always been a hell of a handful but this time it may be his undoing as if we cant treat him and his wound dos’nt heal properly we may have to have him pts. its the last thing i’d ever want to do but if i can no longer handle him, no-one else can either, i might have no other choice. he is 25 yrs old (approx) he has been passed from pillar to post for years and no-one has ever dealt with his problems, so as time has gone on things have become habits and now its becoming more and more difficult to do ANYTHING with him. i am back at the hospital in 2 weeks and may have to have an op. 1 good thing, the doctor told me this morning i am not allowed to do anything until i go back to the hospital. HA as if!! anyway, i’m sorry, i know this was not cat related news, but it was just kays hill news. i think i just needed a bit of a moan

    • Wow. Phew. Leanne, that is tough. I don’t know what to say but it is not good. You have been kind to a difficult horse and you have been injured twice. I hope you make a good recovery and a quick one. When an animal is mentally damaged for any reason – and by animal I also mean the human – they can be difficult and isn’t their fault.

    • You poor thing Leanne,you must be in so much pain and it’s very awkward to manage with fingers strapped up. I snapped a tendon in one finger a few years back and it was in a sort of stiff plastic cast, it was really hard to do ordinary everyday things, so it must be far worse for you working like that.
      If you can’t handle that horse, no one can, as you usually have a way with even the worst tempered animal. You can only do your best, I bet you’ll break your heart if he has to be PTS but you can’t risk him fatally injuring anyone can you!
      I hope your breaks mend without an op! Take care xx

  10. thank you. the vet is coming back in 5 days time to have another look at him (from afar she said!)to see how the wound is healing, however he is refusing to take the antibiotics, won’t eat food with it in, so i cant see how it can heal, especially in this heat with flies around. i have of course sprayed him with fly repellent, well tried to, thats something else he dos’nt like. the whole thing has me worried sick, to think that he might have to be pts because of a pretty insignificant cut that in any other animal could be dealt with easily, its a horrible thought, but i know its a possibility. the vet considers him dangerous, she saw how he reacted yesterday when there was nothing to make him rear just the fact that he didnt want to be there, he wanted to be in the field! the thing is he has been treat badly in the past and i know his behaviour is appalling but it is’nt all his fault. he is bolshy admittedly but a lot of it has been caused by people but he is paying the price for it. if it has to happen i will be with him at the end but it will break my heart that this beautiful horse has to die over something so minor. my hand hurts like hell at the moment, im typing one handed, but he wont be pts because of that, i dont want anyone to thing that. my hand will heal, with or without an op. i just wish i could make freeno better as easily.

    • We would never think that Leanne, I’m sure you’d put up with the pain in your broken fingers forever rather than have that horse PTS, I know how you suffer when any animal at Kays Hill dies!
      I hope his wound heals up but if not he will become ill and more of a danger to himself and to everyone there too who tries to help him.
      We are thinking about you always, it must be a horrible situation for you at present.

  11. some nice news from kays hill. murdoch, one of the cats who has been here for months, has gone of to his new home today! he is a beautiful tabby and white 6 yr old boy. neautered and vaccinated and friendly. the only thing against him was his age. because obviously 6 yrs old is ancient!! anyway, finally, a lovely family came along and fell for his charms and came back to collect him this afternoon. we were so pleased to see him off on his new adventure. this young family didnt want a kitten and felt so sorry for the older cats being overlooked. murdoch seemed to fit just what they wanted in their new family member. good luck to murdoch and his new family.

    • Lovely news about Murdoch, I hope he settles happily in his new home. How is your pain now Leanne?

  12. Leanne you care so much for those animals every day so sorry this has happened to your fingers, I hope they soon heal, without an op, and the pain goes away, also hope Freeno gets well, it won’t be your fault if he doesn’t but that will be small comfort if you have to face him being PTS. So sad. Glad to hear the good news about Murdoch. Thinking of you all.

  13. the bruising has come out so it dos’nt seem as painful now thanks ruth. i was mucking the stable out earlier and give my finger quite a rattle, i nearly went through the roof!! i’m hoping i hav’nt moved the bone, i really don’t like the idea of operations. i am a wuss! i have finally got freeno to start taking his meds. the vet is supposed to be back tomorrow but i’m going to leave it for a couple of days to make sure his meds are in his system when the vet looks at him. his wound is dry anyway.

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