Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
You can just see that Mister is on the arm of the chair - he didn't stand a chance of fitting in as well.
And finally Gershwin smiles as he's managed his objective - and I didn't have the heart to move them all and sat elsewhere!
Gershwin turns round while Echo wriggles into the gap in the middle.
You may remember that Phoenix arrived with severe Obsessive Compulsive behaviour and was very reactive to many things, both real and imagined - hence my fairy comment on the next page. He does still react with circling or seeing invisible things when unsure of himself, which is usually when he sees visitors.
This first photo of him quietly sleeping you’d expect to be able to take, but in the past, he’d be up and moving at the slightest movement from me so when he just opened his eyes and looked at me, that was a huge step forward and a big smile moment.
Wouldn’t want to be a rodent fixed with this determined look from Wilson, while
Ruby is sitting pretty on a roof shed as I snap her.
There were lots of sunny days for photo opportunities this year. Sparkle pretends she doesn’t know I’m there although the angle of her ear gives her away !
We all enjoyed the lovely weather we had this summer and into Autumn.
A couple of tabby tummies - Chico & Sparkle. Chico was unwell recently
with pancreatitis but responded well to treatment.
Then terrier twosome of Ben ( now an old gent of 16 years ) and Nikki.
Fiddler & Frisbee peering in the grass.
And Phoenix who doesn’t see many fairies in the grass nowadays.
Tootsie & Echo showing their best sides.
This sequence of photos made me smile - just a little moment in an ordinary day.
Gershwin had an itch to scratch and ignored Sparkle passing - as she ignored him.
No idea what this expression was saying when Gershwin noticed me watching with the camera in one hand as I stroked Sparkle as she arrived up the path.
You may remember me some time ago mentioning taking up piano lessons
after stopping as a child and I’m loving them now, even though it’s often a
challenge to find time to practice each week.
During the summer I took an afternoon off from the Sanctuary and with my
piano teacher, went to an open day at Finchcocks Music Museum in Kent which has a collection of old pianos from 1800’s onwards. It was a fascinating place, we had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed seeing and hearing varied performances on these incredibly restored original instruments. I took some photos and even had a little tinkle of ivories myself as well - what a treat the day was.
Another reason for my pleasure was not being the driver ( I am a very poor passenger ). Due to having seen a fascinating programme on television about Travelshades (a new discovery for motion sickness sufferers) I was able to enjoy the journey too.
Very simply put, it involves wearing special glasses that cover one eye which changes vision from 3D to 2D and the brain has less information to process. It doesn’t work for everyone and isn’t suitable for all ( not children under 8 yrs) This is the website link for anyone interested to find out more or ask me as I can’t recommend them enough, and they need support of getting the product known about to bring it to market. http://www.travelshades.com
A HUGE thank you to my sister who, I think later had good reason to possibly regret it, offered to help me with the Sanctuary website which I have been struggling to keep updated. What started off and was intended to be quite straightforward, turned into a massive undertaking and I know Jennie spent many, many hours on sorting it all out for me. Thank you Sis - it’d still be a mess without you.
And thanks to a florist website I use occasionally who had pointed out about the toxicity of one plant to pets, but did not have the same warning on the lily pages. I sent them an e-mail and 24 hours later was delighted to see they had added the warning about lilies being fatal to cats.
Well done Bunches - http://www.bunches.co.uk/
Echo obligingly sits up while
Rhapsody shifts over a bit -
Benson just looks.
Rhapsody gives Gershwin a head wash of acceptance - she's everyone's friend.
Benson went back to sleep while the others
finished sorting themselves out.
TO ALL OUR FRIENDS
‘MEOWY’ CHRISTMAS & A ‘YAPPY’ NEW YEAR
Liz & the Furries
This was what I saw early one summer morning when I went to give the hens their breakfast, and she was still there when I crept back out with my camera and managed to take this before retreating to leave her to finish her breakfast ( my roses !).
I went back into the kitchen and was watching her from the window, but hadn’t shut the back door as didn’t want to startle her with the noise, and she came up the path to go past it on her way out. There were lots of cats sitting around watching her while waiting for their breakfast, and as the deer's little hooves sounded on the path, a flurry of startled felines came shooting indoors out seeing foxes here.
This is what happened when I went to make a cuppa - I came back in time to grab the camera to snap this unfolding share-athon !
Having said they are not daft however, one morning as I threw some scraps out for the hens, one of the girls in her hurry,
went straight underneath just as the scraps landed and got covered - and with a quick shake from her feathers, so did I.
As I’ve said before, chickens are not bird brained in the derogatory way. When a couple of new hens arrived, one was quite shy for a while so to make sure she was eating enough, I would put food behind a bush while the other girls weren’t watching so the shy one could eat in safety. It took only two days for one of the other girls to discover what I was doing and be behind the bush waiting for the food as well, and now they all eat together.
One day I wondered what the dogs get up to while I prepare their dinners, so I set the video camera to record and it was fascinating to watch later. I keep a pile of towels on a shelf where they are easy to grab when needed. I knew that someone doggy was also finding them easy to grab and sometimes took a towel and used it as a tug toy. However, just because you are the one caught with the towel in your mouth playing with it, doesn’t mean you are the guilty party who took it in the first place !
When I watched the ‘evidence’, most of the time Max was just standing around waiting for dinner - oh how deceptive appearances can be ! Max had actually taken two towels and dropped them in front of Kismet, who couldn’t resist of course and took first one and then the other in an effort to tempt Max into a game.
I hadn’t seen any of this actually happen and yes, Kismet was sort of innocent although he made the most of his mate’s mischief, while when I had looked in real time, it had appeared that Max was doing nothing except being a good boy!
Friends visited with their 5 year old autistic son and out of all the cats here, Gershwin accepted him and allowed himself to be held, happily purring. The little lad has poor speech but said "cuddle" clearly and hugged Gershwin three times, laying his head on him and although he couldn't express it - he must have heard and felt Gershwin vibrating with his purrs - - it was rather wonderful to see how they both responded to each other.
The power of animals is such that many naturally have an affinity with those that need them, and dogs in particular can be helpful living with autistic children, and not one other of the cats here did what Gershwin wanted to do.
( You’ll see quite a bit of Gershwin as he seems to have been very photogenic this year)
Here’s comes Gershwin -
“Room for another one to squeeze in?” he asks.
Benson, Echo & Rhapsody were getting comfortable on my chair . . .
. . . though Rhapsody had her eye on someone - - -
And talking of disappearance - would I be right in thinking some of you saw five dogs in the photo? Look again and find Fiddler making it six.
And here’s another spot the hidden face as Smudgeon poses by Jacky’s Patch. Peeking through the lavender near the back is Gershwin. The plants have really bedded in this last year and it looks lovely.
Here are more of the cats enjoying Jacky’s Patch for a drink or as stepping stones.
This time Fiddler didn’t have the camouflage of dried grass to hide in so we can see his pretty face peeking at us.
Here’s Polly facing the right way, posing
for a photo before finding mischief.
In the last newsletter you may remember me mentioning it raining indoors as well as out - that roof repair was successfully done ( thanks Gareth ) While investigating that problem, it came to light that there was virtually no roofing felt under the roof tiles for half the bungalow. It’s an old property and nothing had been done to the roof in Jacky & my time here ( 20 plus years ) so it was a case of needs must before the winter sets in. The weather was kind and it only rained one morning out of six days and Gareth did a great job on replacing the felt and making us watertight.
Hello everyone and welcome to the latest news from the Sanctuary. Life continues here much as usual but this is a time of year to send thanks from the residents here and the following pages have your annual bumper crop of photos of some of the Furry family you help. We would not exist without you - our loyal supporters who are all part of the team that continues to save the animals that need us - Thank You.
Chaldon fete this year was run by our wonderful volunteers again, but sadly the weather which had been so glorious almost every day of the summer, was non-stop rain all day which meant the fete was not so well attended. However, everyone worked hard and many local people braved the weather and came and supported the local village fete, which in turn, supports local charities. Thank you to the Chaldon team for all your help - it would not be possible without you.
And what a wonderful summer it has been with the weather in the most part not being too extreme for the Furries but hot enough to enjoy pottering and playing. I am writing this during one of the late Indian summer days after a day of rain yesterday and more forecast this week, but at the moment, the sun is out and it’s a beautiful Autumnal day.
When chatting with a friend recently, she asked “Was I still enjoying caring for the Sanctuary?” - - and to the surprise of both of us, I paused slightly before answering. The reason is nothing sinister as I still love the way of life and the ‘work’ with the animals, but it’s not easy being solely responsible for all the decision making. So yes, I still would not want to do anything different, but I miss Jacky on many levels, one of which is that nothing gets done or decided unless I get on and do it !
I used to go in our loft occasionally when Jacky was here but haven’t been up in it since she died ( nearly four years ) as the risk of me falling was too great because there wasn’t any proper access. So before Gareth came to do the roof felt, Andrew emptied the loft for me - what a job that was and boy, do we all keep ‘treasures’ in our lofts !
I had a busy Autumn going through boxes and boxes of memories and was quite ruthless with what I did or did not keep, partly because some things had been damaged when the roof leaked of course, and partly because it was time to have a sort out. And now there is a new, accessible and safe loft hatch so that I can use the plentiful storage space up there - not that I’m planning to fill it up !
It is these sort of unexpected costs that I can’t budget for but thanks to a friend of the Sanctuary kindly leaving a legacy for the animals, there was something in reserve that could be used. Re-roofing the bunny barn
( no resident bunnies or anything else in there getting wet ! ) is still being fundraised towards so I will let this winter do its worse and hopefully be able to get that sorted next year - the bungalow roof took obvious precedence !
A case of rescue groups helping each other out came one weekend when I was contacted by someone with a dog that needed to be rehomed as soon as possible - they had tried other places but to no avail. I made some phone calls and am very grateful that one of them was able to help out, saving the life of another dog who I couldn’t take but is now in safety and possibly even a new home by the time you read this.
Long summer days and long grass, and there’s usually at least one dog who hears a different drum beat and does their own thing hence Polly going the opposite way, and Granville disappearing into the distance.
CHRISTMAS PHOTO SPECIAL