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The story behind Santa’s visit to Mrs Murray’s Cat and Dog Home

Santa meeting one of the residents at Mrs Murray's.
Santa meeting one of the residents at Mrs Murray's.

On Christmas Day last week, Aberdonian social media lit up with pictures of the residents at Mrs Murray’s Cat and Dog Home getting festive treats – including a visit from Santa Paws himself.

Excited pups can be seen pressing their noses up to sniff what has been left in their stockings, while cats get a scratch under the chin from the familiar white glove.

They were heartwarming images, and the post on the charity’s Facebook page was shared an incredible 188 times with more than 450 reactions.

But this was far from the first time Father Christmas has stopped off at the 132-year-old cat and dog home, near the Aberdeen seafront.

Santa outside Mrs Murray’s Cat & Dog Home

Laura Frackowiak, a cattery assistant and administrator, said: “We’ve been doing it for a long time, even before we had social media, but I think people now see what we do so they’re more aware of it.”

Traditionally, he will take a walk up and down the halls, dropping fluffy toys into the animals’ stockings: squeaky ones for the dogs, and catnip ones for the cats.

A dog meets Santa at Mrs Murray’s Cat & Dog Home

They will also get new beds and blankets to make nights in the kennel and cattery a little cosier.

Then it is time for a special meal.

Prepping the Christmas dinners…..Chicken ✔️Ham✔️Mini Sausages✔️Yorkshire pudding ✔️Carrots ✔️Broccoli ✔️Hmmmmm…

Posted by Mrs Murray's Home for Stray Dogs and Cats on Saturday, 25 December 2021

Laura said: “For their Christmas dinners, the dogs get chicken, sausages, Yorkshire puddings, veg and gravy, and the cats get chicken and ham.”

As well as being a good time for the animals at the home, the charity itself gets a good boost from Christmas in the form of toy and food donations, with Laura saying they are always “well supported” by the public over the festive period.

A cat gets a scratch from Santa at Mrs Murray’s Cat & Dog Home

She added: “Because we’re getting building work done, we don’t have as much storage as we normally used to have, so we’ve asked people for vouchers this year for pet shops like Inverurie Pet Supplies or even Amazon or Pets at Home, so we can buy stuff as and when we need it.”

Mrs Murray’s is currently looking after around 30 dogs and 12 cats, not all of whom are currently up for rehoming.

Information about how you can rehome an animal from the home, or otherwise support them, can be found on the website here.

A dog with a stocking at Mrs Murray’s Cat & Dog Home

As fun as Christmas is in the kennel and cattery, the staff hope each of the animals get to celebrate in their own homes next year.

Laura said: “People always feel sorry for the animals being in the kennel and cattery over Christmas, which we all do, so it just goes to show that we try and make as nice as possible for them and they don’t get forgotten about either.”

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