This quirky female Canis Africanis is 10 years old and has been with us since she was a mangy puppy. A now deceased bergie named Betty, confiscated her from a fellow bergie in Cape Town, and brought her to our door. She was around 3 months old and suffering from a case of very bad mange. She had no fur at all, and was taken to the vet daily, bleeding, wrapped in a sheet. It took months for her to recover and she still has patches where her fur is very sparse. Inca is a real character and when she was younger, she loved to pull the washing off the line and eat our sneakers. She barks like a bugle and is definitely the one who sounds the alarm in this pack!
5 ways to describe Inca: Loyal; Maternal; Musical (loves Patti Smith); Bossy; A bit of a loon.
Yogi is a giant of a dog! This huge hulk must be the friendliest, most soppy dog ever. He loves everyone regardless and he has a special fondness for men. The bergies brought him to us as a puppy and because of his colouring, we thought he was a cross corgi but Yogi just grew and grew. He is 8 years old now and becoming an old man. He has an exceptionally long body for such a big dog, and as such his spine is delicate. He also has skin flare-ups and is highly sensitive. Thunder sends him over the edge as does any loud noise or bang. All in all, Yogi is the big baby of the pack… just don’t mess with him when he’s eating a bone!
We found Futsi, a mature female maltese poodle, on a cold and rainy winter’s day in 2010, on Belhar Drive, on our way to UWC. We had seen her limping along that road more than once and despite our best attempts, we were never able to even get close. On this particular day she was struggling to move in the strong wind and pounding rain so we somehow managed to scoop her up and get her into the car. She was in a terrible state – her hair filthy and matted, her stomach swollen despite being very thin, and her front foot clearly broken. We took her to the closest vet (not our usual) who felt her stomach and then told us she was spayed, but had a bad case of worms, so he dewormed her. He was impressed with her sweet nature. Imagine our shock when we took her home and a week later she gave birth to 3 dead puppies. It was horror to say the least but thankfully she recovered and is now, aged somewhere between 15 and 18, quite dominant in the pack, often taking it upon herself to reprimand any errant behaviour from the others. The broken foot was an old break that had healed at a bit of an angle but she had found a way to cope with her disability. With only a few teeth still intact, Futsi’s bark is definitely worse than her bite!
One day we were driving on campus, off to feed the feral cats, when we spotted a black and white poodle-looking dog tied to a pole in the boiling hot sun (it was mid Jan 2010) outside the Life Sciences building. They waited a while but no one appeared so they loaded her into their vehicle and took her to the Campus Protection Services offices and called us to collect her. She was clearly well fed and very friendly but nobody had come forward to report her missing or was looking her. We took her home and she fitted in well with the resident pack. Still expecting a call at any moment we took her with us to campus when, a few days later, we were at the weekly booksale, when a student recognised her as the dog she had left on campus a week earlier when she attended a lecture. Although she was very sweet and loved Popsy (who she called Ambi), she was rather naïve and clueless about dogs. She wanted to take her dog back, but she was leaving for KZN in a few days on a taxi and had made no plan for the dog so we managed to persuade her to hand the dog over to us and we promised to keep her for life. Despite being very young, Popsy had serious behavioural problems, such as jumping out of cars and windows, escaping from anywhere, running away and peeing in the other dog’s beds. She is obsessed with going in the car and is happiest when she gets to ride along. If she can escape and visit children she will…but she always come home. We actually had to add an additional fence to stop her getting out of the property as a neighbour (we live in farmland) threatened to shoot her if she came to visit again. Charming… now we keep her contained at all costs and she goes on car trips and on supervised walks in the apple orchard. Popsy is now around 6 years old.
This tabby and white, fluffy, fat, ferocious cat is a bit of a bully so no one messes with her! She was dumped in 2007 at Liberty Residence on campus where we found her cowering in the feral cats’ feeding box.
Molly is around 13 years old.
This lovely cat was rescued from a scrapyard in Retreat in 2008, where she had a litter of kittens. Once again it was the bergies who brought her to us after first coming to borrow a cat box to carry them in! She was very thin but her kittens were healthy and all found homes except for one, who is still her constant companion.
Tabby is around 12 years old and loves to lie with her son, Merlin, under the apple trees in the orchard, until the sun starts going down. Then, it’s supper time! Tabby is a big Hill’s fan.
Tabby’s kitten (the only one of a litter of black and white kittens that was not homed and that had a black face). A real character with plenty of quirks. Affectionate to people and friends with several cats, especially Kit Kat and his mother, Tabby.
Black Face loves wet food and eats pouches of meat every day. Black Face loves Iams catfood most of all.
The oldest cat in the house. She is 18 years old. Kit Kat was 3 months old when she was brought in a trap to the AACL in 1996. We took her home as we could clearly see she was tame. Kit-Kat absolutely loves Black Face, soft food and Royal Canin Ageing 12+. As can be expected, she is a bit senile and almost toothless, but is in excellent health otherwise.
She spends her days on a cushion on a table in the kitchen waiting for her next meal.
Born blind and handed in at a welfare with his mother and the rest of her litter to be put to sleep, Ozzy purred so loudly the vet just couldn’t do it and, knowing we had a blind cat at the Sanctuary already, she called and asked us to take him in. Now 4, at the time, he was only 12 weeks old. Named after rocker, Ozzy Osborne, he is the fastest fly and bug catcher in the universe despite being blind; moving with lightning speed and consuming each catch with great gusto. In fact, Ozzy loves all food. Initially he didn’t recognise dry food by smell and would only eat lightly cooked chicken or pouches. After about a year of trying every pellet we could find, Ozzy finally ate some Royal Canin BabyCat pellets and that was it. He soon branched out to other brands and now loves variety. Ozzy is a tad on the large side but he’s blind and food is his great love. Next to creepy crawlies that is! We’ve cut down on fatty treats but Ozzy still enjoys only the best and has his favourite foods available 24/7.
Some days we call him the Arctic Prince because Ozzy has this way, when it’s cold, of pushing himself up on the bed so that his head is on the pillow next to yours, his body under the covers. Then we all fall asleep as Ozzy leads us, purring, all the way to la la land…
Jerry was rescued with his entire family (mother and 4 siblings) at Liberty residence. We had no choice but to move them and intended to sterilise and return the kittens as only the mother seemed tame. They were a mere two weeks old. Even though they were sterilised very young (6 weeks), they tamed and we decided not to return them. His siblings were homed and one of his sisters still lives with a UWC anthropology professor in Observatory. Jerry is a big boy who absolutely loves farm life.
His favourite food is PURINA Friskies. But, he eats most other types of pellets too…
This little piggy is NOT going to market… Rosie is the latest addition to the TUFCAT sanctuary. She is around 3 months old and is adorable. The cats visit her all the time. She sleeps in a JoJo igloo filled with straw.
“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” – Winston Churchill