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.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kitties, It's Cold Outside

The snowfall of last week was reinforced by a blast of arctic cold, and along with the rest of the Lower Mainland, the Sanctuary has been at sub-zero temperatures.  The vast majority of the cats have decided that they really prefer the indoor life-style, and every bed - especially the ones under the heat lamps - has been claimed.
Front courtyard snugglers - Debbie, Petunia (back) Gilbert (front) & Spencer - DW
Fabio & Lucky are somewhere in the pile!
That, of course, makes for some difficulties for the volunteers – cats take exception to being moved off a comfy spot just because some human wants to shake a blanket out, or to change it for a clean cover. And the production of clean bedding is made possible only by careful use of the washer/dryer, because the system is easily overloaded – both by cats and by electrical needs. Having either the washer or the dryer running, of course, is much in demand; the warmth and the vibrations make the appliance top a preferred sleeping space.
One variant of the Dryer Gang: Diablo, Bantam & Simone - MW
Out in the back pens, the cats are also preferring to cuddle together and not venture out. Cleaning pen 1 yesterday, I found twelve of them watching me anxiously; most are semi-feral at best and would normally be backing away, but comfort came first, and they waited patiently while I replaced an ice-filled water-bowl from outside their door with one full of warm water, adding a splash of warm to the inside water-bowl as well.
A wary group of ferals - BC
In pen 5 May and Adam were eager to greet me (though that was in part because of treats in pockets), but Chinook, Willow and Salish also joined in the love-fest, enjoying the chance for some interaction since they’d not had the chance to get out.
From top: Salish, Willow & Adam - waiting hopefully - BC
There are, of course, always the cats who want to do their own thing. Our little grey Gizmo (not to be confused with orange Gizmo in the Moore House) is definitely a cat who walks by himself.  Now that he’s out of a cage, he’s interacting much better with humans, but other cats are still not his favourite thing.
Gizmo the Grey - BC
The cats in the feral pen would prefer not to be inside if they can avoid it; when I go in first thing in the morning to scoop their box and refresh food and water, they hurry out of their house. Cold toes are infinitely preferable to dealing with (horrors!) a human!
Smithy says "Don't look at me!" - MW
The decorations have started going up in the front courtyard; the carolers will be visiting on Monday at lunchtime, and cats are finding their patches of sunshine to make the fur coats compensate for the chill.
Jake's attention is caught by a possible food hand-out - BC
Bobby would prefer that he not actually touch the snow - BC
Some actually seem to enjoy it; semi-feral Autumn must have some Maine Coon in her little body, because her fur has grown in thick and luxuriant (especially her ruff) and I found her today rolling ecstatically in the snow.
Autumn actually loves the cold  - BC
The end is (theoretically) in sight, though;  more snow is forecast on Sunday, followed by warmer temperatures and a return to our usual Wet Coast weather. Pretty as the snow has been, it’ll be good to return to unfrozen water-bowls and functioning sinks again!

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Debbie Wolanski & Michele Wright

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