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.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Leukemia Losses

We lost Kojak this week.

Kojak - by Carol
This sweet boy has been a resident of the Old Aids area, where many of our leukemia cats live, since early 2013.  In that time he progressed from a scared, angry cat to one who would occasionally hop up into a lap – especially if chicken was on offer. We got to know his anxious little cries as he anticipated food being given out. He was loved by many volunteers – Carol, whose photo this is, Alice, Candy, Allison…  He was one of my own sponsor cats.
by Brigid
Feline leukemia affects the immune system, and cats carrying it have less resistance to infections – hence our emphasis on washing/sanitizing before handling them. It’s not to protect us – leukemia can’t be  transmitted to or through humans – it’s to protect them from something carried in from handling another cat.
by Michele
Kojak’s been unwell in the last few weeks, showing cold symptoms; he was caged for extra care, and a lot of loving from his human friends and the Kitty Comforters. But, as is typical with leukemia cats, his system just said “enough!” and shut down on him.  We know it can happen any time – we give them all the love we can, because we never know how long we can keep them.

As I lay in bed that night, having a little weep, I found myself naming the leukemia cats of Old Aids that I have loved and lost, and imagining them welcoming Kojak among them:  Aurora, Spot, Bella, Jeremy, Jasper, Panther, Bingo, Bobby, Frieda, Blue, Jessie, Butterbean, Bubba, Brady, Sabrina, Jackson, Max, Todd, Raven and probably many others.... I’ve included some of their previously unpublished photos here, and links where profiles have been featured.

Bella - by Phaedra
 Frieda - by Claire
Jackson - looking for handouts
Jessie - by Michele 
Blue & Sabrina - by Michele

 Aurora - by Michele
Bubba & Brady - by Debbie

We have them to love for all too short a time – but heaven wouldn’t be heaven without cats, and I’m sure these will all be waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Phaedra Hardman, Carol Porteous,
Debbie Wolanski & Michele Wright

Footnote: As you will see from the initial Kojak blog, he was one of the cats that found us; he was trapped in our own parking lot, and as was traditional for cats like this, named for a fictional detective.
On the day Kojak died, another cat was found and trapped in the parking lot. He has been named Watson (for Sherlock Holmes' sidekick). I'd like to think that Kojak's spirit had something to do with a homeless cat finding a new home with us.


  1. what a nice write up...all those kitties will be missed...my Bella, my Bubba...and little Bobby I miss them all

  2. Such a beautiful tribute to such beautiful souls.