The Latest From Kays Hill Cattery

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Kays Hill cattery is coming along very nicely now with one side of the pens in the building completed and full of unwanted cats. You can see a list of some other posts about the cattery,  including its construction, by clicking this link.

Kayshill Animal Sanctuary Cattery

Kayshill Animal Sanctuary Cattery. Collage by Ruth aka Kattaddorra.

They had radiators installed for this winter by a kind volunteer and it’s snug and warm in every pen. Hopefully in the future there will be the same number of pens the other side and outdoor runs too, but as always money is too short to do all this at present.

Many more cats have been relinquished lately by people saying they can’t afford to keep them any longer, more have been dumped in boxes by the gates.

Yes things are bad in the North East of England but I think people give up their pets too easily. I expect those people still have their luxuries, such as TV and new clothes. They don’t consider the financial burden of food and vets bills they are putting on Kays Hill and other Rescue Centres too.

Gerty is the last one of a family of 15 abandoned cats still without a home, she has been at Kays Hill for 20 months now, hard to rehome because she was so traumatised at the abandonment by the person she loved and trusted and also because she is very shy. She had a chance last year of a home but became so panicky when her prospective adopters went to collect her, that she was ill and had to be taken to the vets, the people changed their minds, no second chances for her.

Leanne had the good idea of teaming Gerty up with Marcus, a more confident cat and the photo of them shows how well that worked out. She looks very well and very content.

This is what it says under their photo on the rehoming page:

‘Gerty and Marcus are to be homed together as Gerty gets very anxious without him. Marcus is a very friendly cat with gorgeous markings and who loves attention. Gerty is more likely to stay out of the way but in the right home with her best friend, Marcus may help her come out of her shell’

We hope someone will come along soon and fall in love with and adopt both those cats, because although they are well looked after and loved at Kays Hill, it’s every cat’s right to be in a loving home environment of their own.

The person who abandoned the cats has never enquired even once about them. Of the 4 cats the RSPCA took, 2 in a bad state were PTS, we don’t know the fate of the other 2.

Of the others, one was PTS last year, this was tragic as he had just gone, along with one of his brothers, to a wonderful home, when cancer in his jaw was diagnosed. His adopter was heartbroken.

Thankfully the others are all doing well in their new homes, a happy ending to their story, we just hope Gerty has a happy ending to her story one day soon too.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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The Latest From Kays Hill Cattery — 49 Comments

  1. The Gerty and Marcus story is very touching. I would love to be able to find them a home. Just maybe this page may help. I hope so. That was a really neat idea of Leanne’s to put them together.

    And, as usual, I am massively impressed by the effort to build the cat shelter. It looks huge. That was an awesome undertaking.

    It is sad to read that people just come by and leave the cats in boxes by the gate. This is terrible. I know people do it but it is so callous. These people can’t be the right sort of person to look after a cat.

    Well done Kays Hill and Ruth and Babz for helping and promoting the sanctuary. A great story of care and love for cats and animals generally.

    • I love the Gerty and Marcus story too. If ever I’m in a position to adopt a cat/cats (doubtful, as they seem to find me) I would adopt a pair. I so enjoy my ‘pair’ that live in the back garden. So devoted to each other. It is a joy to watch. Cat friendships are very special. They pair up instinctively, like they knew each other since the beginning of time.

      I hope someone like me, who loves the pairing will show up soon and take them home.

      Thanks for the update on the Cattery. It is a wonderful place. Even though it attracts those who would discard their cat, at least it is a place who will take them in.

      Cat house on the Kings in California who house more than 700 cats have the same problem of finding abandoned cats and kittens at their gates in the morning. Shocking. People should be fined. Take it from their wallet. They should financially be responsible for the abandoned animal. Relinquishing cats because of finances is another story. Thank goodness there are places devoted to re-homing.

  2. maintenance of pets is expensive, whether in the developed World or developing World taking into consideration of the cost of living and wages of the average citizen.Yet, i find it sad that people so easily part away with their pets during economical hardships rather than with some of the dispensable luxuries.Isn’t a pet a companion to a human although non-human? Think of the wonderful moments you must have had and cherished with your beloved cat or dog during the good times.Nice to read about the “Kay Hill Cattery” in North East England with its animal philanthropy for abandoned and disowned pet cats.

    • Rudolph, do people in India “throw away” pets like we do? I sense they have a different attitude. Although the domestic cat to human relationship seems to be different in India.

      • Michael, in Mumbai abandoning pets on the streets is the biggest problem that philanthropic organizations involved in animal welfare face. Its not uncommon to find “Pedigree Dogs” abandoned and later rehabilitated in some animal welfare organization. As India is steadily climbing up the Global economic ladder so also has been the sudden fascination to own exotic pets, most common being dogs. Sadly, a few pet owners realize later that money alone is not the sole criteria to owning a pet and hence sometimes pedigreed pets costing a fortune are abandoned due to behavioral or medical problems. Regarding cats, till date i haven’t noticed any “Traditional Persian cat” , most common pet cats in Mumbai or a “Mixed breed cat” roaming the markets or streets of Mumbai unlike the numerous moggy cats.Reasons could be that cat owners are a miniscule population of the dog owners in Mumbai city and hence till date India doesn’t have a single “Cat Club”.

        • Thanks Rudolph for that insight. It seems that the richer a country gets the more likely it is that a pet will be abandoned 😉 This is because people like the idea of owning a purebred animal because he/she looks great and can afford the animal but then tire of looking after the animal for the reasons you state. I think it is a symptom of modern times. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps it is the concept of pet ownership as an item like a washing machine that results in abandonment.

  3. I’m filled with admiration for Kayshill Leanne and Kevin and their volunteers and I hope they get the cattery completed one day now so many more people are just disposing of their cats without a second thought.
    How do they think rescues manage to feed them and pay vets bills,do any give donations when they dump their cats,I bet they don’t.
    Is that Gerty who was Gimpy?She is gorgeous and so is Marcus and I hope they get the best home ever together.

    • yes rose gerty used to be gimpy. just today alone we have taken the details of 7 cats that people are wanting rid of, for want of a better term. at the moment we cannot take in any more, we pass on numbers of other sanctuaries in the area but we know that they are already probably full themselves. this is how we all end up with so many on our waiting lists, but what else can we do? we get the same people phoning over and over and they get angry because we cant take in their unwanted pet, its all so sad because the only ones who suffer are the animals that have outlived their cuteness? usefulness? desirability? and we worry that these people wont be willing to hold on for a while. when we really just dont have room to put in another cat/rabbit/guinea pig, whatever what do we do?????

  4. This is great – I am glad I read this it has put me in a better mood today at work. I hope somebody comes along for Gerty and Marcus. I know if I were looking to adopt I would be most happy to help a cat who is havig a difficult time. I know there are people out there like this who would rather take a cat with special needs than a regular young healthy cat or kitten. I knowI would. Someone like that will come along I am sure of it. Lets hope they can finish building it soon.

  5. Leanne was going to write this article since a few weeks back but they are so very busy caring for all the various species of animals and birds and the weather here has made conditions up Kays Hill horrendous to work in.
    So I thought if I wrote it, she or Kevin might find time to come and add a bit more and maybe send Michael some more pictures too.
    They’ve had deep snow, ice, floods, electrics gone off and now at present we have gale force winds and rain.
    We couldn’t even get our little car up the lane to them so have been leaving food in their collection bin at the supermarket not far away, which Kevin collects when he can.
    This is true dedication by Kevin and Leanne and their volunteers and we have some wonderful local people who support them too.

  6. I think Kays Hill is a work in progress that will never end, the more they do the more people want them to do, more and more vulerable animals abandoned and left for Kays Hill to care for and rehabilitate and find homes for, it’s so sad. I love the picture of Gerty and Marcus, Gerty looks so much better and happier than when she was first there and alone, it would be lovely for them if they were given a loving home together.

  7. thank you so much ruth for putting an update on poc for us, as you said, i’ve been going to do it for weeks and then not getting round to it, apologies. as ruth also said, the cattery has come on a long way from its beginnings. we have someone who hopefully will be able to come up soon and sort out our electrics in the cattery, that will be great. just before christmas we were given an ‘esse’ range, along the lines of an aga. our most generous benefactor then paid for someone to come along and fit it into the cattery for us, along with radiators in each pen. its taken us a while to get used to using the esse but we’re getting there now. each pen has a warm radiator for the cats to snuggle up to, they seem quite happy with the arrangement! a local supermarket,sainsbury’s, allowed us into there store last weekend to hold a collection and then told us to leave the trolly in store all week to collect whatever food, etc. we could get. when the food was added up it came to over £133, and we raised approx £500 in cash. we have mighty vet bills at the moment so this all helps a great deal. the store also contacted the newspaper with a photo and a story and this has generated even more donations, we are very grateful to sainsbury’s. while on the subject of people being generous we would like to thank michael for his continued support, as always the donation was fantastic, thank you. you have been a good friend to many animals in need. as we hav’nt been on poc for quite a while i would also like to thank all the good people who contribute to poc for all your good wishes and many thanks to those of you who have sent us donations, we could’nt do this without the help of people like yourselves. thank you. another cat in yesterday, his owner had bought new furniture and, i quote ‘you would’nt risk brand new furniture, would you?’ i despair for the human race sometimes!! our new boy is settling in with posey, they seem ok together anyway. we’re just grateful that the snow has gone, roll on summer.

  8. “You wouldn’t risk brand new furniture would you?”
    My God Leanne,you must have felt like telling that person that cats are more important than any furniture,poor little soul but he’s better off with you and the chance of a good home where he will be loved and appreciated more than a stupid couch.
    You have a good right to despair of the human race,you must get sick of people taking advantage of your sanctuary but I’m glad your Sainsburys has helped by collecting food and money,there are some good people as well as bad.

  9. Sometimes I despair of people, the other day there was a post on the CP page from someone who’d been on about 3 weeks earlier asking for a kitten or even two, she must have got one from somewhere because this time she was asking if anyone wanted the poor thing, she said it wasn’t “getting on” with her bird and work commitments meant she had to find a home for it. Not only that but she didn’t want anything for it though anyone who wanted it had to collect it! How cruel and thoughtless, anyone could have taken that kitten to use for any awful purpose. I don’t know what it’s fate was, I hope it ends up with someone kind (or, more likely, it’ll probably end up at KH to await a new home)

  10. Kevin and Leanne are in a very difficult situation, they know if they turn away a cat because the cattery really is full up, the chances are that the person will dump the cat at their gates anyway or worse still, dump him somewhere else miles away.

    We know our local Cats Protection has 100 cats on a waiting list to be rehomed list because they have no room with their fosterers, it worries me that those people will probably not patiently wait their turn…if ever it comes….they will simply get rid of their cat another way.

    YES Michael it’s careless and selfish to take home a cat then want to dispose of him at some point when it’s inconvenient to have him around and expect a struggling cat rescue to pay vet’s bills, feed the cats and find good homes for them too and no Rose I don’t suppose many (if any) leave a donation too when they leave their pet.

    • We do ask if people can leave a donation, which would go towards vet bills, etc., and some people are more than happy to give a donation. Sometimes it’s because they are just relieved to be rid of their ‘problem’, sometimes people are genuine and give very generously, then there are the people who refuse to give a donation and cant see why we would want to ask them!! i had a man here once who shouted and screamed at me because id had the cheek to ask for a donation for his unwanted ‘pet’, it was obvious vet treatment was needed but that didn’t matter. that vet bill was about £200. we can only do what we can.

              • We would probably end up in prison with the ALF people.
                Scientists are allowed to legally torture animals yet if the ALF lot rescue them they are called criminals and get locked up!
                When will everyone realise that animals are living feeling beings like us, only in different forms?

              • all you can do, to make sure you get the animal away from them, is to smile sweetly and let it go over your head, and realise that these people are not out of this world yet, what goes around, comes around. i hope that whatever cruelty or neglect these people have dished out to any creature is brought back to them ten fold. what we find with people is its not usually downright cruelty its ignorance, which in itself can be as bad, but sometmes these sort of people can barely see to themselves, never mind an animal. however, its the animals we have to see to and i just wish that people would start to stop and think before they go out and get whatever animal has taken their fancy this week. on boxing day we got a cat brought to us, with all the usual excuses of why he had to go. as the woman and boy where leaving he said ‘we can get a dog now’ i dont know how i kept my hands off the pair of them. you try to talk to people and explain the ups and downs of having animals but of course when there is a cute puppy to be had, they dont want to know so off they went, hopefully with my words ringing in their ears, but who knows.

      • i suppose we see both sides of the coin here, other sanctuaries, etc. will see it too. you get the absolute morons who are barely able to tie their own shoes so should NEVER be allowed to be near an animal never mind ‘own’ one. then you get the people who are not really bad people but are just a bit thick. they take an animal in to ‘rescue’ it from a friend or whatever but then cant look after it themselves. but we do see such lovely people too. we get the people who tell us all about their animals that they have had over the years. maybe only lost one very recently and they tell us stories about them, what they liked and disliked to eat and play with and then how they died. they end up crying and i’m usually as bad (or even worse!! i’m a proper softy)and these people hav’nt got much but maybe want to donate a pack of cat food or something or donate £5.00, they dont have much but want to share what they have got with needy animals. so for every brainless waste of skin we come across we also meet the best of humanity too. a lady who came to one of our sales last year and did so well she came up here afterwards to givea donation of cat food, she was here again today and left all sorts of cat food, rabbit food and who knows what else she has been a few times and always leaves a lot of stuff, today there was also a £10 donation from a friend of hers who couldnt get out to buy food for us. earlier today a woman came up with again a car load of food, she works for another local supermarket, asda, and had some money left on a gift card so spent it on animal food. so, as much as i really do despair i have to stop and think about all the good folk too out there who help animals in whatever way they can, i know we appreciate these unexpected donations from kind people and it helps us to tolerate the numptys!!

  11. kevin is building in the cattery. we need a wall putting up between the kitchen area and where the cat pens actually are, waiting for the elves to come and do it for us hasnt worked so far, so kevin has started on it today. our ‘feral’ cats wont mind, as long as they can get to the direct heat of the range they are happy. sophie has found that she can sit at the back next to the flue and keep toasty, so no-one else is allowed in that spot. the others at the moment are basking in the sun, YES SUN!! it isnt much but its better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!! we need to make the most of any decent weather, so today is an outside day, getting all those jobs done that have been neglected during the bad weather, thats this afternoons mission. cats are all fed, cleaned and warm. rabbits and guinea pigs the same. horses, ponies, donkeys, alpaca and goats all fed and watered. more donations left at the front gates today, a sack of cat biscuits and a sack of rabbit food, so been and collected them in the wheelbarrow, the lanes too long to carry them and i’m not as young as i used to be! i think it may be time for coffee.

    • Phew Leanne it’s a long walk up that lane without a wheelbarrow, never mind with one! I admire how you buckle down to any task at all, large or small. Did I hear a little tale about you with a chain saw? Do take care, I don’t think Kevin could go on without you!

      • yes me and my new best friend THE CHAINSAW!! to keep the range going we need a constant supply of wood, which is ok as a friend works at the skips and gets as much ‘waste’ wood as we can use, however it dosnt all come in fire sized pieces and as i am useless with an ordinary saw a friend asked did i want to borrow her late hubby’s chainsaw. its great as i can have the wood cut in no time, but, everyone who knows me is now waiting for the news that i’m minus a foot/hand/leg/ear/thumb/whatever!! i havnt cut anything off yet, but dont rule it out completely, i can be quite accident prone at times. i think even if i lost an arm and half a leg kevin would still make me work, you get no sympathy at all up here unless you’re covered in fur!!

  12. over the last couple of days we have rehomed ash, a young cat who has been with us for a long while. he is very friendly and playful and is used to being with other cats. the problem? that old bug bear – he is black and white!! however, the young family, mam, dad and 2 bairns absolutely loved him. they hadnt had a cat since being a family so wanted someone special they said. i think they found the right cat for them, ash made such a fuss of the bairns and they loved playing with him. so good luck ash in your new exiting life. today elvis will be leaving the building! he is a beautiful, semi long haired tabby and white boy who came to us because his owner was moving and didnt want to take him so was going to have him pts. he is 2 years old and adorable. the family who are taking him home rehomed 2 cats from us quite some time ago and have decided the time is right to rehome another, so as long as everyone is happy, we dont foresee too many problems, elvis will live the rest of his life safe in a great big house with a great big garden to explore (in time) and a family who will love and care for him no matter what. what more could we ask for? yesterday a young black queen was brought to us as a stray, she is quite timid but friendly and we think she may be in early stages of pregnancy, so two out, how many in??

  13. Good news about the rehomings Leanne, well done, you seem to have the insight to choose the right cats for people.
    That poor little black cat! We thought she was lost but if she’s pregnant it’s more likely she’s been dumped, some people are so cruel!

    • ive just spoken to sue, who brought little Lisa (black cat) in and everyone where she lives knows that sue had taken her in so would know where to send anyone looking for her, and she has had no-one at all, so its looking more likely that some ‘kind soul’ has gotten sick of her and has either chosen to dump her like so much rubbish or just not bothered to look for her when she didnt come home, either way they are now rid of her, probably wont be too many tears over her. anyway she has settled in nicely and is a sweet little thing. maybe i’m being too harsh and someone is out there looking for her, i’d love to think so, but i dont think it very likely. the good news is Elvis has just been picked up by his new family and is off to pastures new. good luck to him and the johnson family. we have also rehomed Fluffy, a lovely blue lionhead x rabbit today. he is only about 8 months old so hopefully will soon settle and start to enjoy his new home. i’m supposed to be doing accounts, so had better get back to it before i’m caught out.

  14. Sad news today from Kays Hill. Gerty was very ill and has been PTS.
    I can’t write more at present,I’m too sad that the poor little soul was betrayed by the one person she loved and trusted.
    Thanks to Leanne and Kevin for taking in her and her brothers and sisters and caring for them so well, it must be heartbreaking for you to have lost the last one of those cats waiting for a home.

      • we wanted so much for gerty to spend the last part of her life in a loving, understanding home, she deserved this at the very least. the fact that she had to spend it in a sanctuary is very sad. obviously we did what we could for her and fed her, kept her as comfortable as possible, kept her safe. but she should have had a home to call her own, a fireside to lie in front of, a kind and loving person who had taken her home just because they wanted to give her the best they could. unfortunately her fears and anxieties, caused by abuse from evil and heartless people, stopped her from being able to trust anyone. we feel guilty that we could’nt do more for her, but in the end, on vets advice, it was the kindest thing to have her pts and we know that, but it dos’nt make it any easier. but her life should have been different, her life should have been spent playing like a kitten, not knowing fear or pain or knowing comfort when held, you just could’nt do that with gerty, it terrified her. i can only hope that the ones who caused her life to be so miserable will know the same misery and fear a tiny little cat, who did’nt deserve any of it, did. sorry about the rant but i’m really upset about losing her. to make matters worse we have just had to have one of our own cats pts because of kidney failure, karrot was only 5 years old but was born with tiny kidneys that just got to the point they could’nt function any more. i’m feeling pretty rotten today. marcus is living with prince, as i knew he would miss gerty terribly and we did’nt want him to be alone, they are getting on well, curled up together, next to the radiator, last time i looked in.

  15. So sorry for you all at Kays Hill Leanne, I know it breaks your heart to lose an animal, 2 cats in 2 days is devastating for you.
    Now you’ll be worrying about the vets bill.
    I’ve shed tears for little Gerty and now today Karrot, she was such a lovely little cat too.
    At least Gerty was warm and fed and loved and respected by you up there, she probably had more attention than she did at home as we know now that the quiet or nervous ones of the 15 were probably just left to it!
    Take care, we will try to get up to see you soon.

  16. I’m so sorry at all this bad news,poor little Gerty and now Karrot to have to be PTS so young.
    I have no words to tell you how sad I am for you at Kayshill.

  17. So very sad for you all at losing Gerty and Karrot, and sad to think of how Gerty missed out on a loving home of her own due to the way she had been forced to live before she came to you. Even though she couldn’t accept the love offered to her at Kays Hill she was well cared for, safe and happy with Marcus, there is nothing at all for you kind souls to feel guilty about.Karrot was lovely, I remember her well. RIP Gertie and Karrot, you were both loved whether you wanted to be or not.

    • i like that Barbara, it made me smile, ‘you were both loved whether you wanted to be or not’ good, accurate phrase!!

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