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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Elaine


Elaine is a cat I was introduced to by Leslie, one, if any of the people Elaine trusts enough to get close to. 

Elaine was one of a number of feral kittens brought to the shelter approximately one year ago.  She is extremely skittish and could barely stand to let me be in the same room with her, let alone take her picture or pet her.  The feral cats who come to the sanctuary all seem to adjust at their own rate, some take to people and their new home quite readily and some are much slower to adapt.  It seems that Elaine is taking her time though it is heartening hear that she is slowly coming around and has decided that Leslie is a person of interest due to the frequent smell of chicken on her hands and treats that appear at her fingertips.  Leslie tried to entice Elaine with some treats into the teen room where I eagerly waited, camera in hand but she never came through and remained outside in a heated nest with her friend and a watchful eye on me.


Elaine on right

Friday, December 28, 2012

Update: Amber

When Amber came to RAPS in June of 2011, she would always hide in the farthest corner of her bed, ears tucked back defensively and eyes full of mistrust. Over the next few months, she slowly started to allow a little interaction, but still wasn't all that comfortable around us. More time passed and she decided being stroked with one hand was OK, and then that maybe being stroked that two hands did not necessarily mean that someone was trying to grab her.


These days, though she's still not quite ready to be picked up and cuddled, she's far more likely to run out to greet her human friends than she is to run away. If she's in a playful mood, she loves having her tummy tickled and will even wriggle around upside down to make her wish clear.


And head rubs and ear scratches are always welcome, whichever way up she happens to be.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas - days 11 & 12

Finishing up The 12 Days of RAPSmas:

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
11 Piper’s pipings
10 Hannah leapings
9 Josie dances
8 Lincoln mooches
7 cuddle puddles
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
12 Baby glares
11 Piper’s pipings
10 Hannah leapings
9 Josie dances
8 Lincoln mooches
7 cuddle puddles
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

Merry Christmas, everyone. The Neko Files will be back on Friday, December 28.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas - days 9 & 10

Continuing The 12 Days of RAPSmas...

On the ninth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
9 Josie dances
8 Lincoln mooches
7 cuddle puddles
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the tenth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
10 Hannah leapings
9 Josie dances
8 Lincoln mooches
7 cuddle puddles
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas - days 7 & 8

Continuing The 12 Days of RAPSmas...

On the seventh day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
7 cuddle puddles
 6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the eighth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
8 Lincoln mooches
7 cuddle puddles
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an “egg” that was laid by Sweet Pea

Monday, December 17, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas - days 4, 5 & 6

Continuing The 12 Days of RAPSmas...

On the fourth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the fifth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the sixth day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
6 of Mario’s harem
5 hugs from Fred
4 Grizzy sprays
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

Elliot


A loud and intense yowling demanded my attention when I walked into the Conner building last week.  The yowl was as hard to ignore as Booster’s forlorn meows in the double wide at dinner time and equally exasperating. The raspy cry conjured up images of a four-legged Bob Dillon.  The cat that belonged to this crooner, none other than Elliot, a handsome orange tabby peering at me earnestly from the doors of his cage.
Elliot had been adopted out of RAPS sanctuary for a couple of years but unfortunately was surrendered back to the sanctuary a while back.  I’m told he is known affectionately as “Vampire Boy” because at one point he had had an incredibly long set of fangs that actually extended out of his mouth. Those fangs have now been shaved down to a more civilized length, but the nickname remains.

Elliot is currently being treated for an eye infection which has forced the staff to keep him behind bars as he is a difficult cat to pin down for medications when on the loose.  Unable to ignore his pleas for attention I went into his cage to spend some time with him.  Elliot seemed very pleased to have some one on one focussed attention and bowled me over with more yowls, lots of cheek rubs, some head butts and even a love nip to the shoulder when I tried to leave.

As you can see, Elliot is another cat who is far too interested in people love to stand for much picture taking and I could barely get him to stay in one place long enough to get a picture of him without his face rushing at the camera.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas - days 2 & 3

For a little holiday cheer from our furry friends at RAPS, we continue the "12 Days of RAPSmas" we started on Monday.

On the second day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
2 random buns
And an "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

On the third day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
3 Billy kisses
2 random buns
And an "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12 Days of RAPSmas

With just about 12 days to go until Christmas, I thought it would be fun to involve a few of our sanctuary cats  in a little holiday cheer. We give you "The 12 Days of RAPSmas."
Here's the first installment:

On the first day of Christmas, the RAPS cats gave to me
An "egg" that was laid by Sweet Pea

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bellestar


Bellestar came to the RAPS sanctuary from the same home that brought us Tom Cat, Coco, and others. I had a chance to meet her (i.e., single her out from all the other black cats living in the front courtyard) this week while she's in a cage finishing up some treatment for urinary crystals.

Brigid suggested I go and visit her, describing her as very friendly. This turned out to be more than true: not only was Bellestar delighted to receive a visit, any time I stepped out of stroking range she'd start flailing a paw in my direction until her claws found purchase and she was able to drag my hand back close enough to snuffle or rub against.


This resulted in a few unintentional scratches to my hands, but it was impossible to be upset with her since she so obviously didn't mean any harm. Once I figured out how to stay either within cuddle range or out of claw range, we had an excellent visit that was a great pleasure to us both.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ridley


Ridley is a feral who's gotten comfortable enough with people that he's fine with more or less ignoring us while he enjoys hanging out in the doublewide. Fortunately or unfortunately, this does tend to lead to some cases of mistaken identity -- that is to say, from the back it's easy to mistake him for one of the more friendly black cats and try to give him what turns out to be a rather unwelcome pat.

Ridley may not be too sure about humans, but he is quite sure about Salty and can often be seen cuddled up with his friend.

Salty may even be the way to Ridley's heart. Ridley generally won't let anyone touch him, but when I was patting Salty while they were sitting together earlier this week, he became so delighted with me for making Salty happy that he leaned in for some rubs too.


If I tried to pat just him and not Salty, I was shown a warning paw poised for a swat...


...but as long as I was patting Salty, I was permitted to carry on sharing a cuddle with Ridley as well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Foxy (II)

When I went to introduce myself to Foxy, brother of shy, shed-hiding Butch, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Leslie had tried to point him out to me so I could photograph him the week before, but he took one look at the two of us and made a run for it. This Monday night I found him curled up on a chair in the covered area behind the singlewide, eyeing me suspiciously, and I wondered if this was going to be as close as I could get.


I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while still skittish, he's much more comfortable with the idea of a human getting close than his brother is.


He let me come within arm's reach for a number of photos, and even let me present a fingertip for him to inspect.


Any closer than this, though, and any attempt to give him so much as a light tickle behind the ear or under the chin, would have him shying away, ready to bolt. Not wanting to force him out of his comfy bed, I didn't push him further.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baloo


Baloo is a female cat who spends most of her time in the Teen house sitting atop the counter.  Baloo is one of those cats that could easily get overlooked if you weren’t seeking her out.  Although very pretty, as a tabby there is not much to distinguish her between the countless other tabby cats at RAPS.  She is not particularly driven to make her social presence known and didn’t really have much time to entertain my notions of getting to know her better.
Recently, Baloo decided to redesign her little piece of the sanctuary and that has garnered her a lot of two legged attention lately.
Turning her nose up to the abundance of cat beds and blankets throughout the sanctuary and demonstrating a most remarkable sense of ingenuity, Baloo started to pull down sheets of paper towel from a nearby roll holder and line the top of a bucket of cat food that sits on her usual counter top with these paper towels. Essentially, Baloo built herself a little nest.  This mysterious new behaviour that came straight out of the blue caused that staff and volunteers more than a few ooohs, awhs and chuckles.


Baloo was allowed to keep up her nest for a little while but the staff had to eventually put an end to her architectural inspiration as she was using up all the paper towels.  Unfortunately, when I came to take pictures, she stubbornly refused to give me any photographic evidence though I did manage to sneak one picture of her on it while her back was turned.


I visited the Teen house this past Wednesday to see Autumn's kittens and check on Baloo.  I noticed that someone had strategically placed an empty water bowl on top of the bucket and her little nest was no longer.  So much for ingenuity Baloo.