RAPS is short for Regional Animal Protection Society, a registered charity and operator of a sanctuary which houses and cares for nearly 500 homeless or abandoned cats in Richmond, BC, Canada. The Neko Files is a celebration of the sanctuary and all those who live and work there.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I've lately been experiencing something of a domino effect of friendliness in the front courtyard. First Cozy recommended me to Pickle, then Shady wanted in on the action. Then, while I was getting in some nice portrait shots of Shady, a pretty little tabby with white bib and socks started doing every cat dance she knew to charm me into paying attention to her as well.

Lisa tells me her name is Esme and describes her as shy but very sweet. Esme and her sister Abby have been with RAPS since they were kittens.

With her pretty face, Esme looks like the kind of cat somebody or other would want to take home with them. And indeed, Esme did get adopted at one point, but it didn't work out. Lisa explains: "As with many of the semi-feral who are exceptionally sweet at the shelter, she just couldn't handle the change of scenery." Lisa, Leslie and Carol had to go and hunt Esme down in the home of the lady who'd adopted her, finally finding her "curled into a tight little ball, scared out of her mind behind the water heater."

And so back Esme came to the sanctuary, where she's been living happily ever since. "She does really well at the shelter" says Lisa, "and often comes around when other cats are out for some love."


  1. I understand that some of these cats can't get adopted.. but the cats will eventually adjust to a new habitat. With 900 cats wouldnt they WANT to adopt cats out? Maybe they should send some cats to No.5 road...

  2. My understanding is 5 road is very full!!

  3. We do indeed want to adopt cats out whenever possible, but always trying to keep in mind what's best for the cat. Normally, that would of course be to live with some nice people in a home rather than at a shelter, but some cats who've lived for years or even their whole lives in this environment just can't manage to make the adjustment. With the semi-ferals, this can be particularly the case.

    I'm sure Esme was given a decent amount of time to try and get used to her adoptive home before everyone decided it was best to bring her back.