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.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Coco is a cat who recently came to RAPS this spring with the same group of 10 cats that brought us Tom Cat, a group left to RAPS out of love from an owner too sick to care for them anymore. The cats were initially placed Val Jones house as a safe haven during the transition period to their new life.

For whatever reason, pretty boy Coco was being picked on by the rest of the cats which was surprising given they all came from the same household.  Coco was quickly moved into the Hill House in the hopes of giving him a fresh start minus his daily browbeating from the Val Jones crowd.  His pen in Hill House was open when we were first introduced, but he was very shy and made his reservations about me quite clear.

Ann describes him as a really sweet cat and even a “head-butter” but at the moment, he would not allow me within 10 feet of him.  Ann assured me that in time I would certainly win him over, he was too social to let fear get in the way for long.

I arrived at the sanctuary the following week and headed straight for Coco determined to get better acquainted. I was met with terrified eyes that seemed to say “oh no, not you again?” Ann encouraged me to try my luck with some treats and sure enough coco overcame his fear for the sake of his stomach and tentatively took the treats from my fingers.  Eventually, the treats were gone and soon I was able to lay my hand on coco without him running away. Slowly but surely, he started to melt under my finger tips and a personal triumph was mine, I had made a new friend.
Photo by Ann
Photo by Ann

Friday, July 27, 2012

Graceless Kitties of July

It's been brought to my attention that we're overdue for the next installment of "graceless kitties"...

So here you go. Enjoy!

photo by Andrea
photo by Debbie
photo by Debbie
huge yawn by little Frieda
photo by Claire
Huey again
photo by Claire
Bobby and pal
tummy rubs by Ayako
photo by Claire
Gus Gus
photo by Claire
photo by Claire
photo by Phaedra
and how could we have a Graceless Kitties post without Fred?
photo by Phaedra

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I first heard about Frieda from Ann, who described her as "a super fantastic new kitty" with the best toes ever. Of course I had to investigate. When I asked Leslie to introduce me to this neat new cat, she also commented on the toes.

Here they are:

Best toes ever? I think a case could be made!

The rest of Frieda is pretty cute too:

She's quite a young girl and came to RAPS from another shelter because she'd unfortunately tested positive for feline leukemia and they didn't have the facilities to care for her.

She's super friendly, so not surprisingly has already started building herself a fan base at the sanctuary. It only takes a few moments spent in her company to get an idea why.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Luna was adopted from RAPS as a kitten 10 years ago. When her owner passed away, she was taken in and cared for by the owner's daughter. The daughter has now moved to Europe for a few years, and so at the beginning of July Luna came back to RAPS.

She was still a little nervous about her surroundings and new faces when I met her last week, but it looks like she's going to be a sweetheart. She may even move to the No. 5 Rd. Shelter for adoption when they have more room.

photo by Annette

Friday, July 20, 2012


15-year-old Alley came to live at the sanctuary earlier this month.

Her owner passed away at the end of last year. Since that time Alley was living alone with people coming in to feed her several times a week.

Not surprisingly, she's still feeling a little stressed as she slowly settles into yet another new situation. And yet, even with that it only takes a few moments in her company to see what a nice girl she is at heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Niblet was one of a number of cats trapped by Princess Street in Steveston (others include Prince and Maddy).

I first noticed Niblet because of her tiny size. Then Gaye told me an anecdote about her that makes her even more memorable.

Gaye described being at the sanctuary one night and hearing a high "meow meow meow" coming from somewhere. Worried that one of the cats was in distress, she followed the sound to the source and found Niblet sitting with her mouth all puffed up and what appeared to be two streams of slimy drool dripping out. Before Gaye could do anything to help, Niblet dropped her mouthful at her feet. The mouthful turned out to be a live frog (the two streams of drool had in fact been its back legs), and it didn't waste any time leaping off to complete its escape. Gaye is still amazed that Niblet had let her come so close without running away.

These days, Niblet's still quite shy, but Leslie says she's getting tamer all the time. When I met Niblet last week, she wasn't quite up to letting me touch her, but was curious enough to sit and stare while I visited her cat friends. I haven't heard any more tales of her playing frog catcher.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tom Cat

Tom cat is one of ten cats that lived together with their adoring owner who unfortunately had to give them up to RAPS due to health reasons. All ten cats arrived at the sanctuary in April and were given private time in the Val Jones house to acclimatize to their new home.

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to arrive at the shelter in time for their grand release into the general population. It wasn't so much as a release as an opening of the door. As I peered into the door of Val Jones house I saw nine sets of cat eyes peering cautiously back at me clearly not ready to come out of their safe place.

The exception was Tom Cat who was out and about nearly as soon as the door opened strutting around like he owned the place. He is a big, black, almost demonic looking cat who can be distinguished by his ragged left ear which seems to add an image of thuggery to this tough looking cat.

There's no doubt Tom cat is the dominant cat of the group and will likely hold that position out in the general population. In less than an hour of his release he stalked over to our fierce Jerry and started little fracas to which Jerry, a cat who never backs down from a good fight, scuttled away in disgrace.

Towards me, Tom Cat seemed quite a congenial though he took his time. When I arrived a week later to see how Tom cat was doing, he was laying like a king on the cool cement ground outside of the Val Jones house and upon seeing me he raced over for some pets and to rub himself against me marking me as his own.

Friday, July 13, 2012


A lot of the feral cats living at the sanctuary like to hang out in the back pens. So when I'm visiting one of my tamer friends out there, I'm used to seeing a lot of fleeting furry shapes. When I saw this face peering at me from a window on Monday evening, I was sure he'd zip off the moment I came too close.

While he proved to indeed be a little shy on first contact, he surprised me by also being undeniably friendly.

Not only did he allow me to pet him, but it seemed like no time before he was leaning out of the window towards me, kneading the air with his paws, and luxuriating in chin rubs.

I later found out from Leslie that his name is Tiger. He's the son of a feral cat named Barbara who lives in one of the far back pens. Volunteers Barbara and Waldie had fostered the wild mom and her kittens Tiger, Owl, Pussycat, and Panther.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I'd heard Gabby's name mentioned a number of times in the past, but only had a chance to start getting to know him a bit this week.

Leslie tamed him as a kitten and became his sponsor. I have a feeling his name was inspired by his cheerfully vocal personality. Leslie's description of him as fluffy, yakky and precious seems pretty apt.

He was enjoying the warm summer evening with a snooze outside when I found him on Monday, but didn't at all mind perking up to enjoy some pats. He thought being stroked was such a nice idea that he climbed down from his perch and proceed to trail around after me going "mrah mrah mrah".

Only when one of his cat friends appear and start trying to wash and cuddle him did he stop and settle down.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mad Max

Like Little Lizzie, Mad Max was trapped at the Gun Club as a wild kitten.

Since I gather Mad Max's name was inspired by his behaviour, it sounds like he was a very wild kitten indeed. These days he's calmed down and will accept, sometimes even welcome, a little human attention.

He's still pretty wary of people though, and so may allow some pats one time and then flee the next if you come on too strong. It seems he's more comfortable with his cat friends, often hanging out with Jett and other ferals.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Little Lizzie

Little Lizzie was trapped as a wild kitten at the Gun Club in Richmond, one of a number of cats who've come from there over the years.

If you notice a resemblance between this tortie girl and Lizzie from Wednesday's post, you're not alone. Little Lizzie got her name because her markings reminded Leslie so much of the older tortie's.

Little Lizzie has remained wild and is still likely to take flight if you get too close or even look at her for too long.

In further contrast to the other Lizzie who likes people but doesn't care for cats, Little Lizzie seems to feel quite comfortable hanging out with a cat buddy or two.

Little Lizzie and Phoenix

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Lizzie came to the sanctuary at the age of about seven, having been surrendered for peeing.

The adjustment was not an easy one for her, and it took about a year before she'd let people at RAPS touch her. She was hyper anxious and would scream if she so much as saw a hand coming toward her. Leslie says people used to shout out to anyone at the sanctuary who might have heard the noise that nobody was hurting anybody.

Lizzie's mellowed out a lot since then, turning into a very friendly cat. Friendly with humans, anyway. She's not a fan of the other cats and has no problem telling them so.