For many years, the Cat Sanctuary has been a home for cats that could find no other home.
Sometimes this was because they were feral, or very easily spooked; sometimes because they had been surrendered to us for bad bathroom habits; sometimes because they had health issues – but, for the most part, they came to us when they had waited too long in the City Shelter, or a shelter somewhere else, and space had become an issue.
Things have changed. The single biggest issue has been that in this pandemic year, people confined largely to their homes have been looking for animal company, and not only the RAPS shelter, but other rescues have been finding it much easier to find adopters. So without the constant inflow of “unadoptable” cats, our numbers have been reducing.
Sanctuary philosophy has been changing too. From having had a pretty hard-line “these cats are unadoptable” approach, we have increasingly been moving cats into homes. Initially, this has been largely to staff and volunteers – the people who already know the cats in question, and are aware of potential issues and what may be done. Because we had early bad experiences with adopting out shy semi-ferals (see Jenny’s story), there was a reluctance to do so – but when the semi-ferals in question already know and trust their adopter, and that adopter is alert to the problems, we have seen some marked successes.
Sanctuary cats are not for novice cat-owners, and the usual RAPS adoption requirements about no outdoor access are more important than ever for cats who have been used to a lot of Sanctuary freedom. I hope that in the course of the next few months we may hear occasional reports from adopters about cats who have moved to a new home and settled in. For now, here are a few of our happily-rehomed feline alumni:
Horatio, former feral, finally decided that humans were OK, and that one of our med-staff was the best of the best! She had given palliative home-care time to angry Frankie who couldn’t handle other cats; when Frankie’s heart-condition at last got the better of her, Horatio became her next home-cat, and he is ecstatic!
We have worried about our seniors, as the Moore House has been gradually emptied in preparation for removal. Some of them have settled happily into life in the Single-Wide, but we were delighted when Earl Grey found a home, and even more delighted when his adopter returned to take Puma to join his buddy. The two old guys are happily settled together without other cats to bug them.
Little Leona shared pen 6 with our McLeod clan of cats – but never really belonged with them. Almost always a loner, she waited by the gate for attention – both wanting it and dreading it. We finally moved her into the Double-Wide so that all the staff and volunteers working there would have a chance to help her get used to being petted. One of our volunteers fell in love with her, and now reports that Leona has settled very happily in her own home.
We are missing Darius these days, but are so pleased that another of our med-staff has taken him home. Former Sanctuary cat Mischa was already with her, and we hear that he has taken Darius under his wing and shown him around his new digs; the two of them have settled very happily together. Both are cats that spent a lot of time outside at the Sanctuary, and the ‘catio’ is a favourite place for the boys.
Anyone working in the Moore House in the last couple of years has had to tiptoe around Smokey – a very angry grey girl who didn’t like either cats or people. One of our volunteers was sure there was more than just “I hate everyone” going on, and has consistently made time for Smokey, establishing her boundaries, and spending extra time with her. Following the loss of her beloved Otis, she has offered Smokey a home, and is turning her into a lap-cat. We are so excited to hear the progress that is being made. Lots of patience and love…
There are a few other Sanctuary cats who have made their way to our Adoption Centre – for more information on who’s available there, please check https://www.rapsbc.com/raps-adoption-centre/