Cat Tails

Ubud Writers & Readers Writing Workshop – Do you have a story?

“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”  Mark Twain

Obviously Mr Twain never met a Bali cat.  The real one that is, not the one masquerading  as a Bali cat calling themselves Balinese. Many Bali cats are very vocal, possibly due to  their Oriental connection. Certainly my cat Tango has a voice. A friend once commented  that if she were a man her language would be very colourful! She is known to the Villa  Kitty staff as ‘the boss’. My girl has attitude!

Tango and her brother Yoko Onooo “how did I get a girl’s name!” were tiny kittens when  I found them on separate occasions in Ubud in 2008. They have now been joined by  darling ‘legally blind, she wouldn’t get a driver’s license’, LeChat, the very timid Forest,  my sweet beautiful Maya, Ushki who has fur like a plush puppy toy, the super model  twins with their long limbs and amazing markings, Honey & HaSheba, and Quincy Jones  who plays rough-house Rosies with my Bali dogs. And we all live together in our house  that backs on to Villa Kitty. It often happens that my ruang tamu, lounge room, gets the  overflow from Villa Kitty too so the numbers can rise dramatically. We are 20 at home  today, with a total of 127 altogether at Villa Kitty.

I caught up with a friend recently who told me her husband had ‘converted’. Buddhism? No, she replied, this once “dog” man is now a converted felinophile! She related how an uninvited visitor arrived about a year ago, a pretty, long haired Tortie not more than 12 months old. It was a definite ‘no’ to the cat staying from her husband and anyway he added they were picking up their puppy from the local refuge soon, once the fence was in place.

The cat persisted, sitting at their front door, every so often putting her two front paws up to the glass. They fed her, of course while looking for the owner. When the owner was not to be found they arranged for a friend to come and adopt her. The friend arrived and the cat disappeared. The friend left and the cat reappeared! My friend swears the cat came out of hiding and wrapped her arms around her husband’s legs! The cat stayed, the puppy arrived and they are best friends.

We hear some great stories from visitors to Villa Kitty, with the children often telling the best. I love  their animated faces as they relate tales of their favourite cat who plays with their dog and then they  all sleep together. Too often it’s the adult’s fears that have people choosing one over the other.

Villa Kitty is hosting our third Ubud Writers & Readers Festival writing workshop for children.  Run in both Bahasa Indonesia and English, it is for children from 5 – 12 years but I think that some  “older” children could participate also. I know the child in me will be ready with pen and paper.


  • Bali cat adventures! Join Nicholas Mark, finalist in the 2013 Australian Arts in Asia Awards, at Villa Kitty, Bali’s first cat sanctuary, where he will lead you through the maze of the mysteries of writing a fantasy/adventure children’s book. Nicholas will talk about his experiences creating his contemporary Asia-themed children’s literature. Listen to him play the didgeridoo & see what the cats think about this! Let your imagination run wild & create your own adventure at Villa Kitty where you will learn about the importance of cats in our lives.
  • Bilingual | for ages 5-12 years | suitable for 40 participants.

I am serious about getting a book of cat stories together. I guess it’s because I am here at the coalface that I hear so many wonderful, funny, often poignant stories that should be recorded. Cats don’t take up much room in the home and when they’ve snuggled into your heart there’s just not much you can do about it. They are there forever.

Please contact me if you are interested.

Email me or text +6281558701737 or visit and our facebook page for further information about our projects.

2 Comments on "Cat Tails"

  • Suellen Greaves says

    Hello Elizabeth. My name is Suellen Greaves and I hope to visit Villa Kitty next week on my first trip to Bali. I have heard so much about Villa Kitty and am really looking forward to visiting. Is there anything that you need or anything I can do to help in the support of the wonderful services you provide?


    • admin says

      Hello Suellen

      Thank you for your message. We would love you to visit Villa Kitty. If you are able to bring over Royal Canin Mother & Babycat dry food this would help us greatly as there is a shortage of this on Bali at the moment. We also use kitten formula called Wombaroo. F10 is the cleaning product that is the best available and we are not able to get it here. Any of these would be wonderful. And kitten toys!

      Thank you for asking and we will be very grateful for anything that you bring.

      We will look forward to meeting you. Please email me directly or when you are here sms +6281558701737 for directions.

      See you soon


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