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.
THE INDOVENTURES & THE CAT RESCUERS!
- 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.