RAPS is short for Richmond Animal Protection Society, a registered charity and operator of a sanctuary which houses and cares for more than 400 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, December 9, 2011

Update: Pip (formerly Bree)

Many friends of RAPS will remember the sometimes harrowing but ultimately heartwarming story of Bree, the kitten who came to us back in 2009 as one of the "urban barn" cats and won our hearts only to develop life threatening upper respiratory problems caused by nasal polyps. Amazing work was done to raise money to take her to a specialist and have the polyps removed and return this plucky girl to full health.

Our very own Janice provided Bree with her forever home once the little cat was well enough to move in. The first thing Janice needed to do was give Bree a new name, since she had previously adopted a cat from the sanctuary called Breanna. To make matters more confusing, Bree was actually named after this very Breanna because they both had the same big eyes. Obviously, no one anticipated that both cats would end up in the same home! And so Breanna is now Beebers and Bree is now Pip. And Janice is able to stay sane.

I asked Janice to tell us a little about how Pip (formerly Bree) is doing in her forever home. Here's what she had to say:

I was told not to expect an overly affectionate cat when I took Bree (Pip) home because of her tough start to life. She wasn't happy after having all that treatment to save her life. I was ok with that, just wanted her to have a home of her own so that she could feel settled. Once I got her home, however, there was an initial settling in period for my two other cats but Bree was making herself at home straight away. ... she reminds me of a child - all impulse and little thought!!!
She can't stand for me to put anything on counter tops and takes great delight in batting stuff onto the floor at all times of the day and night - consequently my place is always a tripping hazard. I blame the cat for the mess but my friends may disagree with that one!!!! Another way of creating havoc for me it to sit on my bedside table and dip her paw into a small glass bowl that contains my earrings. She dips in, hooks the odd one onto a claw, places it on the table and then bats it into infinity. Hoovering is a bit of a hazard since I brought her home.
 photo by Janice
She came home with me a few months after my first cat Chloe's passing. At first I didn't want another cat to get attached to, another cat to feel so desolate when losing. But I soon noticed that Chloe left a huge gap in my home and heart and needed to offer that to another. I could never replace Chloe but I could expand my heart to include another cat. 

That last point is a tough one that many people who've lost a beloved pet face. It takes a bit to realize that welcoming another pet into your home does not make you unfaithful to the departed, nor does it imply that you think you could replace them. Janice likened it to sisters asking their mother which one of them she loves best and the mother responding that she loves both equally but for different reasons. In the same way, we can love all the cats we've shared our homes and our lives with in different ways without ever choosing one over another.

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