Cat Sanctuary

A Day for Chance

Chance in 2009  (BD)

Chance (formally Last Chance) – was an early acquaintance for me when I discovered RAPS. He was in many ways the archetypal scruffy stray, and not a cat that would easily find a home. The Sanctuary was Chance’s home, and he was loved by staff and volunteers alike until his death in 2013. Our annual summer party (cancelled for two years now, thanks to COVID-19) developed a tradition of taking a moment to remember Chance and all the cats like him who had passed through our hands. We would read the story of The Rainbow Bridge, and the names of the cats who had passed since the last Day of Chance, there were tears and happy memories – and many cats around who wanted our attention RIGHT NOW, if you please!

Sweet Sammy – newly come, and sadly, newly gone (KN)

In this blog, I always write about the beloved cats who have gone on at year-end –  and sometimes (as little as possible) when an iconic cat passes. This year we had a particularly brutal few weeks in early spring when in short order, we lost Puffin, Chateaux, Fable, Janine, Spooky, Ninja, Minnow, Skittles, Zimmer, Darwin and Shadrack – and they were memorialized in a March blog

sweet front-courtyard Fable  (MW)

On the last Saturday in August this year we are having a quiet virtual Rainbow Bridge Day for staff and volunteers, an opportunity to remember Chance and other raggedy strays, and especially the cats who have passed since last year. Here are some of our furry loves not already mentioned above. I have linked to some of their early blog entries, but you will find more by following the name listing to the right of the page.

Princess & Spike (KN)

Spike and Princess were a long-term and loving partnership – sometimes with an added buddy, though mostly just the two of them. Spike passed last November, and Princess was left on her own. We lost her just at the beginning of this month.

Elegant senior gentleman: ZeeZee  (KN)

ZeeZee was one of many senior cats who came to us when a senior owner could no longer care for them. As with a lot of the older cats, there were already health concerns, and our focus was on making sure that he felt comfortable and at home with us. ZeeZee wasn’t so keen on other felines, but he loved human attention.

Jack Sparrow & Pops  (KN)

Jack Sparrow and his father Pops came to us from a bad situation – both with considerable physical problems.  Though these two boys were adopted out last year to a home that loved them, they remained ours in our hearts. Feisty little Jack passed last spring, and Pops just this week. We are glad they are united again.

Little Mama on her shelf over the dryer  (MW)

The SingleWide is missing some big personalities in small bodies – all had been with us for most of their lives, coming in as ferals, and gradually acclimatizing to human attention. All three were part of the Dryer Gang.

Belinda & Jenny  (KN)

Belinda and Jenny became true lap-cats, loving being petted by “their” people. Little Mama was always a bit more cautious, preferring the shelf above the dryer to the cuddle-puddle on it, and then her cat-cave, where she could hide out.

Zimmer   (PH)

“Homely” is probably the best description of this sweet boy who had obviously lived a hard life as a feral, and who was terrified of us for some years. Gentle determination and good experiences finally brought him around, and in his last year with us he enjoyed being petted and loved.

Lovely Lincoln (MW)

One of two Lincolns in the back courtyard, this boy was always known as “beautiful Lincoln”. Sweet-tempered and affectionate, he is much missed.

Two sweet old ladies – Renee & Calista (KN)

These two little sisters lived here most of their lives. Calista was the shyer of the two and preferred to hang out with her buddy Jamie;  chatty Renee preferred human company, though she did not appreciate our constant efforts to keep her unmatted! Calista passed before Christmas; Renee just this past week.

You have chicken? GIVE ME!   (KN)

A loud voice was silenced when we lost Dexter. With the leukemia cats, it’s only a matter of time, but Dexter had been with us longer than most of them. We think he was deaf, and he was very vocal in getting our attention at dinner-time.

Chateaux (Ashes) and Shadow (MW)

These two boys came in together – possibly litter-brothers. At some time in the transfer there was a mix-up in names (Marianne Moore told the story) and it took a while to sort out which one was which. Shadow lived in New Aids; Chateaux proved to be FeLV+ and made his home with the other leukemia cats. The two of them passed within months of each other.

Leland  (HC)

For a grumpy guy, front-courtyard Leland was much loved. He didn’t much like other cats, but humans (especially his beloved Debbie) who would sit and cuddle him – that made him very happy.

Samantha  (MW)

In her glory days, this pretty girl was the most photogenic of the cats – the camera loved her! She was still very shy when I first met her, but social with other cats – especially her series of feline boyfriends – VanDyck, Eclipse and Chimo – all loving snuggle partners.


Staff and volunteers love working with the cats – but with so many seniors, it can be hard to come in and find that a particularly well-loved cat has passed. We constantly have to remind ourselves that if it were not for our work, many of them would have lived short stressful lives, or been euthanized as ferals. In our care they have had much love, and many of them have returned it.

See you on the other side of the Bridge, kitties!

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Henley Chiu,  Barbara Doduk, Phaedra Hardman,
 Karen Nicholson, Michele Wright
I want to take the opportunity to thank former volunteer Claire Fossey, who wrote the initial blogs (linked above) about many of these cats, and through whom I first got to know them.