Since I was a child, animals have played an important role in my life – either as companions or in the form of the native wildlife that visits my garden in Sydney. I see everything as being connected – the human race, animals and the planet. To my mind, taking care of animals and treating them with respect and compassion are part of being a fully evolved human being.
Animals also play important roles in my books. I often joke that the human characters are imaginary but the animals are based on ones I have known or cared for!
Here are some of my animal activities:
Happy Lou Lou
I first became involved with the World League for the Protection of Animals when I discovered a small colony of stray cats living in the car park of my local shopping centre. As cats can breed as rapidly as rabbits, I knew the problem was only going to get bigger and the cats were in danger of starving, being hit by cars or being caught and killed by an exterminator if I didn’t do something. The World League helped me out with humane traps, veterinary contacts and cages. For the next few months my home workshop was converted into a cat care centre, where I brought the cats after they had been trapped and desexed and, with the help of some friends, trained these frightened animals to be wonderful, confident and affectionate pets. They all went on to find loving and responsible homes. In 2013 the World League asked me to become one of their patrons and I was only too happy to accept that role with a group that works tirelessly on behalf of all animals not just cats and dogs, but wildlife and farm animals as well.
Mr and Mrs Lucky
When I returned to Sydney after living overseas for two years, I appreciated how amazing it is to reside in a city teeming with gorgeous wildlife. I love listening to the various birdsongs and seeing the possums, tawny frogmouths and flying foxes that come out at night. But I knew these animals were struggling – their native trees were being cut down at alarming rates; they were being killed on the roads in high numbers; and suffering other problems due to urban development. Because our unique native wildlife is such a special part of Australia, I wanted to do everything I could to help them and to educate people about them. I named the joey brushtail possum I’m pictured with here ‘Mr Lucky’ because he was rescued from the pouch of his dying mother after she was hit by a car. A motorist stopped to check the mother’s pouch and found Mr Lucky alive inside. Because of that driver’s quick thinking, I was able to raise Mr Lucky and release him successfully back into the wild. Sometimes animal rescue/care work is heartbreaking but there are many wonderful moments too!
Tim and Kate
The heartless way animals are treated in factory farms, entertainment and society in general grieves me deeply. Animals Australia is a fantastic organisation that campaigns on behalf of these overlooked creatures and raises public awareness regarding animal abuse. I think Animals Australia is great! You can find out more about it here: