Our Story

Setting up…

Villa Kitty Bali began as the “Cats and Kittens Section” in another shelter in Lodtunduh. I am Elizabeth Henzell (nee Suttie) and in 2009 I was asked to care for three tiny kittens. I didn’t have time but I had two young friends looking for work so I employed them to care for the kittens. Many more quickly followed. My close friend, Robert Elliot, has been the major sponsor since our first days. He generously paid our staff wages, in addition to the necessary equipment, food and medications for the cats and kittens. Villa Kitty has been in operation for more than three years now because of his continuing generous monthly support. Kadek Purnata and Wayan ‘Jopi’ Budiarta were our first vet assistants. These compassionate young men are still working at Villa Kitty as senior assistants who mentor our junior vet assistants. They take their position very seriously and are consulted on important issues such as hand-feeding neonates.

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By August 2010 our staff had grown to two vets, four vet assistants, a cook and 60 cats. It was apparent we needed a place of our own.

A fellow cat lover from Melbourne, Rosemary Fry, came to visit in October 2010. Rosemary saw our vital work and agreed in the importance of a purpose-built house for Bali’s abandoned cats and kittens. Robert amazed us by funding a ten-year lease and Rosemary kindly financed the building of our first Villa Kitty on a beautiful, secluded block of land near Ubud.

Villa Kitty Bali was officially established on March 17, 2011 after we relocated our ever-growing family to the new “cat house” devoted solely to their care. The cats love the freedom provided by the clean, fresh, spacious rooms where they are able to comfortably play, stretch and sleep.

We were a hub of outstanding achievements and word spread fast. It was no surprise then that by October 2011 we had once again outgrown our space. The small size of our quarantine and hospital rooms proved inadequate, we needed a separate quarantine building as well as a separate hospital.

Only a few months elapsed until January 31, 2012 when Villa Kitty Phase II began, thanks again to the kindness of our ever-generous benefactor, Robert, who paid for a second 10-year lease of the adjacent property. Drawing up the construction plans was a lesson in patience until Villa Kitty’s two wonderful friends, Christopher Parr and Ida Bagus Gede Wijaya, ST, helped to fast track the process so that the first sod was finally turned in the shortest time possible. Nyoman Suaspa and his uncle own our leased land and Nyoman served as an outstanding foreman during the building construction.

The Parr family also helped finance the construction of the new quarantine building, which is named the Molly Parr Wing in honour of their daughter, who from a very young age has been rescuing abandoned kittens and puppies. Molly is also heads up our Young Ambassador program. One by one we are recruiting young people to spread the word about caring for Bali’s cats.

March 27, 2012 heralded our very first Villa Kitty fundraiser, and wow! what a success! The absolutely fabulous “Cat Woman” and songstress herself, Edwina Blush, planted the seed for this event, which was hosted at Janet DeNeefe’s spectacular INDUS restaurant. The delicious meal featured recipes from her fabulous book, BALI: The Food of My Island Home. We had two delightful emcees for the evening, Kamau Abayomi and Becky Wicks (who has just published her latest “licious” book Latinalicious, after her hugely successful Balilicious which featured a chapter on Villa Kitty), and a performance from Russian violinist par excellence, German Dmitriv, rounded off a memorable evening.  Thanks to the generosity of our international guests, we had an extraordinary evening that raised IDR 43 million (approximately $4,500) to supplement the construction of the new hospital building.   We moved in on September 2, 2012.

purrfect family

Our Purrfect Family

From our first days of just three caretakers, our two vet assistants, Kadek and Jopi, and myself, we have grown to twenty three staff!

The Villa Kitty veterinarian team is led by one of Bali’s most respected vet surgeons, Drh Karnata, with Drh Isa and Drh Sinta caring for all our sheltered cats and kittens.

Our seven vet assistants who cover 24 hour shifts are Kadek, Jopi, Ketut, Liong, Komang,  Nyoman, Gede Artha who doubles as our part time admin assistant. He is a very diligent young man who works hard to ensure all our records are up to date and the staff get paid on time.

Our famous chef, Mbak Eka, not only manages our kitchen and prepares the meals for our cats, kittens and dogs, but she is also the talent behind the wonderful Villa Kitty lunches held in our beautiful gardens every Sunday. Mbak Eka is ably assisted by Ibu Made who are also part of our five staff cleaning team, along with Bu Tutsih, Ibu Ketut, and Ibu Ketut Pindang (Little Fish), Ketut Putri, Kadek Sri dan Ibu Komang.

Possibly the toughest job is done by one of the sweetest people you would ever hope to meet. Iluh arrives every morning around 7 o’clock and cleans all the kitty trays. A recent call out for gloves showed us that there are many people who care about our staff who care about the cats and kittens here at Villa Kitty. It wouldn’t work without them.

The Villa Kitty dogs are walked, groomed and trained by Komang. Yes, we have seven rescued Bali street dogs who gallantly watch over the property and the kitties! Komang is our ‘roustabout’ and ensures we don’t run out of anything.

Pak Gading and Pak Alus maintain our beautiful gardens and secure Villa Kitty each night. Pak Mangku sees to all our spiritual offerings every morning.

And finally a man that I call my family. Nyoman Suaspa, is part of the family who own the land that Villa Kitty leases. Nyoman has been a huge support since the first day I met him and in on our board and is an adviser to Villa Kitty.

This is a team of people I am very fond of who take pride in the work we are doing at Villa KItty.

Our Story – Villa Kitty Cat Foundation

Our Story – Villa Kitty Bali Cat Foundation

Villa Kitty is a rescue and adoption centre for Bali’s abandoned cats and kittens. We have just celebrated our 3rd birthday with one hundred and twenty-one cats and kittens, seventeen of them tiny kittens under 6 weeks having arrived in the past seven days. Please consider adopting or fostering and if you are not able to adopt or foster please consider making a donation via our PayPal account or volunteering.

Villa Kitty Bali began as the “Cats and Kittens Section” in another shelter in Lodtunduh. I am Elizabeth Henzell (nee Suttie) and in 2009 I was asked to care for three tiny kittens. I didn’t have time but I had two young friends looking for work so I employed them to care for the kittens. Many more quickly followed. My close friend, Robert Elliot, has been the major sponsor since our first days. He generously paid our staff wages, in addition to the necessary equipment, food and medications for the cats and kittens. Villa Kitty has been in operation for more than three years now because of his continuing generous monthly support. Kadek Purnata and Wayan ‘Jopi’ Budiarta were our first vet assistants. These compassionate young men are still working at Villa Kitty as senior assistants who mentor our junior vet assistants. They take their position very seriously and are consulted on important issues such as hand-feeding neonates.

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