The Menagerie


Hermit and Isabella are their full names but Herm & Iz for short-short. A friend found Hermie on her doorstep at about 3 months of age, begging for food & attention. No owner was identified, so we took him home and he hasn’t stopped demanding food & attention ever since. Now at 10 years & around 7.5kg, he’s the big boss of the house.


A month or so after Hermie came to us, we went looking for a friend for him. Our local vet ran a kitten rescue service, and just so happened to have a 3 month old girl, perfect! So Izzie the princess arrived, was bashed once by Hermie (in cat terms that’s a hand-shake) and never looked back. Shy around most humans, she’s our cute fluff-ball who teases the big dogs and plays like a kitten when it’s just our little family around.




We adopted Cassie when her owner started travelling overseas for business and no longer had the time to spend with this sooky old girl. She was such a sweetheart – a Kelpie x Blue Heeler, maybe around 11 when she came to us, but full of beans and obsessed with her ball! She and the cats finally got used to each other & all spent time sleeping in our bedroom while we were at work.

Cassie sadly passed away in August 2013 after a year of heart problems, but is still much missed.

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These guys were advertised as ‘the odd couple’ on their adoption page, and I guess they are a strange match! Tillie (short for Matilda) is around 12, possibly a German Shepherd/Malamute or Mastiff cross, no-one really knows. And her best friend Elvis is a 10 year old Whippet x Jack Russell, at best guess. Their owner surrendered them to a pet rescue group in Mildura, who promised her they would not let them be separated (the story goes that Tillie was adopted herself at around 3, then taken to the pound to choose a friend – she chose Elvis & they’ve been together ever since!). It took 18 months in foster care until we came along. A year later, they’re still together and trying to rule the roost, but the cats have them firmly in paw.

*Update. Tillie sadly passed away in August 2017, four years to the day after Cassie. She was around 14 by then, and had been diagnosed with stomach tumours the day before, after weeks of slowly finding it hard to walk and eat. But she was her sweet, dignified, glorious self to the end, lapping up her liver treats. I miss her badly, especially hugging her (she gave the best hugs), but she passed away peacefully at home with all of us with her. Elvis coped well (the vet’s advice of letting him sniff her body did its job) but is quite the sook.

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Click here for a YouTube video of Tillie & Elvis playing.


What can I say? There’s 3 Wyandottes and 1 Hamburg, fancy names for chooks that eat, dirt-bathe, crap everywhere, moult, brood and (rarely) lay eggs for us! But they’re endlessly entertaining to watch and have survived 2 dog attacks and a fox in their run, so they get to keep doing what they do best (except lay eggs regularly).

*Update: several adopted remnant chickens later (three Isa Browns and two commerical egg layers), we are now down to the little Hamburg (B&W spotted, pictured below), called Paloma, and two from neighbours who couldn’t keep them (Clover & Clementine). And still not many eggs, as we think they’re being stolen by the local ravens as it’s nesting time!


1 Response to The Menagerie

  1. ZuZu (the little feral in my book A Berkshire Tale) would love to know you kept chickens. She of ten tells everyone that “Some of her best friends are hens”. She’s really happy they survived the fox visit!

    Liked by 1 person

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