It was the Christmas of 1999 when my vet asked me to look in on his cattery every day. He wanted to go away and all he wanted me to do was make sure the cages were clean the cats were eating and were happy and healthy. I felt really honoured to be entrusted with this task. On one of the trips to the vet my daughter accompanied me; I had diced some turkey for all the cats as a treat and we spent some time with them. On our way home my daughter said, "Mom you should do something like this, you are so good with cats."
Over the years I have rescued countless cats and have hand reared hundreds of kittens.
I have had colonies sprayed, homed many and at one stage had 25 cats of my own. I did raffles and sometimes received donations which meant I helped foot the bill for spraying and neutering. I am still involved with rescue but my age prevents me from going out trapping and such activities.
My experience with cats is extensive. The locals call me the Cat Guru.
The idea of opening a cattery appealed to me as it would generate an income to assist with my rescue work. We had a gazebo in the garden which we never used and I asked my husband if we could convert it into a little cottage. At first he thought I was joking but soon realized I was dead serious. With great excitement Pippa's Place was born. My husband is a perfectionist and he built a beautiful cottage cattery with welded mesh cages.
Pippa was the name given to a little kitten that arrived on the back of an Imperial truck that had left Nelspruit one morning. The lady at the workshop knew of me and my passion for cats so she had called me to assist and I gave the little female kitten a name and a home. She was a dear little cat but she had no eyelids. I took her off to the eye clinic and was advised that she could have a series of eye operations to rectify the problem but we would have to wait until she was older. Sadly the little kitten developed cysts inside the eye and when one burst, my vet and I decided this little cat could not go through life blind. With a heavy heart we put her to sleep. She was only six months old.
So the cottage we built was christened Pippa's Place, a fitting name for a lovely haven we were creating and in memory of the brave little kitten from Nelspruit.
We started with four cages and I had our first guests in 2000.
Over the years we have created a lovely haven for kitties of which we are so proud.
I am married to a wonderful man who is also a great animal lover and we have many a tale to tell of how we came by our cats and dogs but that would take forever. I am presently writing a book of short animal stories which I hope to complete in the not to distant future.