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.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It all started from a picture. I was visiting with various cats in the singlewide back in February when I looked up and saw this tabby face peering at me from the top of the cages. I snapped a photo.

A couple of months later, in accordance with my rule of only featuring the images of cats who've yet to have a post dedicated to them, I cropped the photo to make an amusing header shot. And here came an unexpected snag: when I decided it was finally time to write about the cat belonging to this funny little face and pass the coverkitty crown onto someone else, nobody could tell me who this particular cat was.

Even after I went back into the singlewide and photographed every tabby in the place until I found the one who was an exact match for the facial markings of the original shot, I was unable to get a name. Linda was able to tell me that it was one of the feral cats who has just recently become more approachable, and Debbie thought either Burkeville (by the airport) or a fish cannery might have been the original trapping location.

Leslie was able to fill in another few pieces. To start with, putting an end to the need for pronoun evasions, I can now say with confidence that this cat is a girl. Also, wherever she and the others she was brought in with might originally have been trapped, they came to us via the No. 5 Road shelter, where they'd been kept as kittens until it became apparent that they just weren't going to tame up. And so Carol asked the sanctuary to take them.

Once at the sanctuary, nobody got to see much of our little header kitty since she spent all of her time hiding behind blankets. It's only more recently, now that she's starting to become a little less threatened by and a lot more curious about the humans she sees at the sanctuary, that she ventures out more and more frequently to have a good old stare. Leslie's even been permitted to touch a fingertip to her nose.

And still, her name remains unknown. It was generally agreed that she's much too cute to go without a name, so I've started calling her Saba. "Saba" is Japanese for "mackerel" and therefore a natural as a tabby name.

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