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Hello Friends

Looking back to summer, and the August Bank Holiday weekend was busy with the lovely local Chaldon Fete where our marvellous team also ran toy and general tombolas; and the weather remained dry in spite of the looming dark clouds in the photo.

The following Sunday was followed by another sunny day for the team at Quality Street fair in Merstham, where we mostly had a toy tombola as we had very few pre-loved pet items left from the previous weekend.


Both events were brilliantly organised, well attended and cheerful ones that were enjoyed, and they helped boost the furries feeding fund.

This was my car when I picked up some of the marvellous soft toys Gail had collected for our toy tombola - at least they didn’t need feeding ! All were chosen and went off to new loving homes.   

Below was Sarah’s washing line, full of pre-loved dog coats before going on our stalls to keep new friends warm and dry.

It’s early September and we’re having sudden summer heatwave weather again so a perfect chance for me to sit quietly this afternoon to work on this newsletter. I am browsing a free clipart website to find pictures that fit and I can use - this newsletter isn’t just thrown together you know !

Having said that, the last newsletter went out without me properly proofing the copy that went to the printers ( I blame the Elm family and kitten brain ! ) and so there was a gap where a cartoon should have been, but hopefully you either didn’t notice or didn’t mind. When typing to a friend, I referred to the furries as fiends….I think it was a Freudian slip that I missed the R out of the word friends ! Maybe I need to give Jovi a job as here he is supervising me working on our website.


This photo is taken from the cctv recording when I’d said the magic T word - “treats”.

From the bottom left going clockwise - Dinky, Rosa,   Nikki, Jeeves, Taxi, Heidi, Wizard and Fagin. The others were about and also had their treats, they just hadn’t joined the waiting circle.    

Taxi is now 13 years and slowed down slightly and Nikki is 16 years and slowed down quite noticeably, with both of them harder of hearing and less clear of sight. It does mean when I’m saying - ”everyone out” for them to go in the garden they may need a further, louder call from me; or as I jokingly say to them - “are you waiting for a gold edged personal invite?” As we all know, the golden oldies have carte blanche to pretty much do what they like and get away with whatever they choose to do, as I see the clock ticking  forward on how much time we may have left together and it focuses the mind on not worrying about the little things and how slow they are now.

Here is Taxi ( left ) relaxing with Zeena ( right ) - the old and the young.


When I finished grooming Zeena recently, I was left smiling - why?  Because Zeena has learning difficulties and takes a very long time to understand life. She struggles with her co-ordination due to her cerebral  issues, plus has a fear of handling due to her history so trying to brush her is tricky when she is either losing her balance or trying to nip me. This means we work in small sections for a short time and if a little knot appears, I clip it out on the next session so she is never fully done. Except, for the first time in nearly two years I was able to keep doing a bit more and a bit more until she was completely groomed and I still can’t do that with Fagin who has been here nearly 4 years !

Here Zeena is flying past a happy Muffin up the field. He’s another   golden oldie and can’t keep up, but he had fun trying for a short burst.


Then Sparkle, also rich in years, loves her koala plant stand to watch the world go by.


I’ve never had need of a baby gate before, but since the arrival of the Elm  family I now have three donated ones helping the kittens find their feet. Here Muffin is waiting to get up one morning, kept company by Iris kitten.

Here Iris is checking if the sachets are actually empty, before I rinse them for recycling ( Tesco take soft plastic recycling ).

I’m not a fan of sachets, although I understand the appeal for pet owners but as you can see, it’s a lot of sachets to open and much slower than opening tins when the cats are impatiently waiting. Neutering the kittens is now underway and all are doing well, though their wild genetics remain noticeable.

And here is the wonderful Hazel, the original mum / great great grand mum who survived four years on the streets trying to keep her family together, and who would have died giving birth this year if she hadn’t come into safety.

Her behaviour tells her story as she is terrified of feet and is still wary of being approached but is learning to come and enjoy a fuss. Here she is in Great Great Great Grandmum mode with Iris.

Oh poo…No, I am not swearing but referring to the waste matter created in cat litter trays ! You can imagine, how many trays were in use during nursery days with the Elm family, and when kittens began weaning, their deposits were tiny. My usual cat litter is woodbased pellets but the kitten poos were so small and finding them when poop scooping, wasn’t easy. A friend donated some other litters for me to try and this one was a clear winner as it’s very fine ( ground corn ) so I could find small poos ! It is far more expensive than the pellets, but as the cats and I like it, the trays now have either woodbased or World’s Best clumping litter.


Some more sharing photos for you, and while some cats prefer to keep their distance from dogs, others actively have dog friends, the same as there are dog to dog friendships.

Nikki and Iris back to back in bed together, then Nikki with her mate Wizard.


Then felines sharing my bed but all in their own socially distanced little space, while Maddie is looking very pleased at being next to the radiator with Crusoe.


This next photo (from the  internet, credit unknown ) shows an ingenious solution to stop a little dachs dog slipping out of the gate, a spoon through the harness.

My version for Rosa dog who can fit through the field fencing to go and eat the Elm boys cat food, is a cut down “hood” - seen here being kept company by Sparkle who loves dogs.



Portrait gallery













Hopefully you know that xylitol is a major danger to dogs but please be aware that it may be labelled as wood or birch sugar. Sadly it’s still the same killer ingredient, a sweetener often found in low sugar products such as cough syrup, peanut butter, diabetic sweets, chewing gum and toothpaste to name just a few. It doesn’t take much to kill your dog or cat.

On the subject of pet dangers, with Christmas coming here are reminders of a few other foods to keep away from our pets: as mince pies, dried fruit, chocolate etc are about; as are the dreadful rawhide dog chews that are not  only are a choking hazard but are processed with toxic chemicals like lead and arsenic.

As the weather changes, antifreeze is lethal to pets and cats are particularly attracted to it, so be ultra careful if you service your car or have a leak. Don’t forget that poinsettia and lily plants, often given as gifts at Christmas, are poisonous to cats as are these other things to be aware of.

I’ll admit that I didn't know about avocados, but don’t eat them anyway, so you can teach an old dog new tricks ! Others to be aware of are human drugs such as aspirin / paracetamol etc. If you have both cats and dogs, do be aware that some dog flea treatments, and shampoos have permethrin in them, which is very toxic to cats.

I know milk is included on the cat poster and some cats drink it but cats do not have the enzyme to digest lactose, so it causes diarrhoea and tummy upset.  After all, milk is food meant for the baby animal from their mother who gave birth, not for other species.

Hopefully some helpful information here to keep our loved pets safe from preventable dangers.                             


I am, with your help, stockpiling logs so that this can be the blissful scene here this winter.

I’m not yet fully self sufficient while home grown wood is still seasoning; so your donations make this possible. As Root below shows, when I had a small fire for Midsummer, watching the flames is not just a human pleasure.


In case you  wonder if I’m repeating myself, the next photos happened after the shed one on the back page which was already taken as a follow-on from the previous newsletter. The state of the food shed is naturally, an important consideration here ! Once upon a time, Jacky & I would have to wait for a cheque to clear before we had funds to buy food; and this meant - particularly over winter - that we had some very tricky moments. It only took food to be out of stock, bank holidays over Christmas or being snowed in, and then making sure everyone was fed became a huge struggle - we always managed, but it was a constant concern.

The sanctuary has been fortunate enough to receive a little cushion of legacies, thank you if you have left something for the animals here. Or as recently, when a collection was taken for us in memory of a special friend, that was used to buy a much needed tool for long term benefit; as well as some brackets, screws and food for immediate use. With your ongoing much appreciated donations as well, it meant that when I saw special offers, I was in a position to start winter stockpile shopping. The difference your generous support makes is shown in these two photos of the food shed which went from this

to this 

Isn’t that an absolutely lovely sight to see? Thank you all so very much.


Life and death of a box - in photos - - nothing to do with kittens !



Same kitten in last three photos … different box of destruction but too cute not to share !     



A nod to the reason for this season and some smiles.


Also because of the season, I couldn’t resist including this cartoon. 

A friend sent me <<< this from her newspaper, again I hope it raises a smile for you as it did me.

Credit either on the pictures or freely available from the internet.

We are still collecting used stamps, including the new barcoded ones and thank you for sending them. We received £69.56 from the latest sales, a very helpful amount from something usually thrown in the rubbish.


Last newsletter I shared a photo of an Amazon wishlist parcel delivery - this time I share a photo of when I opened the food shed door after a regular delivery from an online pet shop ( I mostly use or ).

Thanks to all of you for your kind donations, ongoing monthly standing orders etc, as it means making sure we have full tummies here.

As usual, I have updated the Amazon wishlist -  with thanks to those who use it - it’s like Christmas for me as I open boxes to see what goodies are inside.

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Easyfundraising is such a simple idea and I’m so grateful to our supporter who told me about it. In just two years, the total raised is nearly £800  - amazing ! Thank you if you use it to benefit the sanctuary animals.

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The saying of “it takes a village to raise a child” could also be applied here as it is due to your support, that the residents, with all their little quirks, are able to enjoy their peaceful life of healing within the sanctuary.

With enormous gratitude and purrs and woofs from all of us,

Liz & Furries