Cat Sanctuary

The Volunteer/Cat Relationship – Allison and the Front Courtyard Cats

I hope to make a regular feature of some of the volunteers who spend time with the cats – we met Julian in September. When I asked Allison about being part of the series she was at first daunted, and then sat down and wrote pages about her favourite cats. We decided that it was perhaps a little too much, so she decided that what she would do would be to write a poem.

Cat-cuddling is fun – but work comes first!

Allison is a regular volunteer at the weekend; she makes spotless water dishes in the front courtyard her particular concern, and she’s a wonderful guide for Sunday afternoon visitors. She has no cats at home – and a non-cat-loving husband – but happily cat-sits for her friends at any possible opportunity.
Allison has a particularly close relationship with Little Orange, in the front courtyard – on a Sunday he waits anxiously for her, and follows her around as she does her chores. Some of it is cupboard love – he’s a big fan of the dried chicken tidbits she brings – but most of it is that he just loves her.

With Little Orange

Calista became a special buddy when Allison spent time working in what we call the Yellow Door area, where many of the front courtyard ferals hang out. Allison put hours into working with a shy boy called Marmalade, and in the process, attracted his girlfriend Calista, also a feral. We lost Marmalade a while ago, but Calista has joined the greeting crowd, and also looks for Allison on a Sunday.

With Calista – MW

The Old Aids rooms also get visited, and a particular favourite there is Kojak. He is also a chickaholic, and his addiction has helped him to become braver and braver in approaching visitors.

With Kojak – MW

In Allison’s own words:
Hi, my name is Allison and I have been coming to the sanctuary for over 3 years now, having become a volunteer about 2 years ago.  And yes, I have a special place in my heart for my friend Cathy, a volunteer who introduced me to RAPS!
I absolutely love the sanctuary and all that it represents: the cats, staff, volunteers and all of our visitors. It’s an amazing gathering of cats and people which is different every Sunday.

Boxed Cats – MW

I am a gal from Richmond who grew up with loving cats,
So when Cathy told me about the sanctuary it was her back that I gave a pat,
Each Sunday when I go I can hardly wait,
To arrive at the sanctuary and open the gate,
The love that the cats show to me,
Makes it worthwhile getting down on one knee,
I do have to tell you I have some favorites too,
Like Little Orange, Calista and Kojak to name a few,
So come to the sanctuary where you will have fun,
We have warm dry places to sit and watch the cats run!

Non-running basket of cats – MW

Hope you can come and visit us, and remember, every Sunday is different…….meow!

Blog: Brigid Coult
Photos: Michele Wright & Brigid Coult