Cat Sanctuary


Pet me now, please….  (MW)


This sweet girl is another of the cats who has come to us because of “inappropriate urination” – she pees in the wrong places.
Cat owners seem to be divided by those who would do ANYTHING for their cats, and those who can’t be bothered to track down whether it’s a stress thing or a physical thing, and just open the door and let the cat go.  In the former category are people like Ollie’s owners who put up with his peeing for some years, trying every possible fix, before they finally brought him to us.. A surrender like this is not just a drop-off;  with the history of a cat like Ollie or Chirpy, it’s unlikely they will ever be adopted out, and a surrender to the Sanctuary involves a cat’s-lifetime sponsorship.

Looking for love…  (KN)

Chirpy actually came to us from Alberta.  Her owner had heard about us from the Meow Foundation, who sent Algy to us. Like us, they are a no-kill organisation, but Algy had aggression problems that they couldn’t deal with, and he’s better with us where he can hide and wander when the mood gets him. The woman had taken Chirpy in, but she’s another of the “I vant to be along” Garbo cats, and did not get along with the original cat in the household. The owner grabbed at the hope of RAPS as a way of saving Chirpy, brought her out to see for herself, inspected the Sanctuary, paid to sponsor her, and flew back the same day leaving the Chirpster in our care.

This was not a quick or easy decision; Chirpy was well-loved and a surrender is a big financial decision. But knowing that a cat will be loved and cared for at RAPS is a big factor for many owners faced with a hard choice.  And Chirpy is indeed well-loved by us – and her former owner, who misses her greatly, stays in touch.  It feels like failure, for her – but failure would be dumping the cat at a shelter where she would be put down, or risking her life as a cat forced to live outdoors.  This was a decision made with much love, for the best welfare of a beloved pet.

Helping to garden….   (KN)

Chirpy has made the Connor building her home.  Living with one cat was evidently not to her taste; living with a lot of them has to be stressful – and this 9-year old girl is on a mild anti-anxiety medication to help her cope.  But she’s learning from the best – sweet old Tigger who also lived in the Connor, and regularly demonstrated how to ignore all the other cats around him. Chirpy likes a little human contact; she has her special people she loves, and she will happily visit with others for a short while. But let another cat come within view, or request human attention, and she’s outta there!

Chirpy guarding the Connor entrance (AP)

There are lots of corners for her to hide out – her favourite thing is to take over an empty cage for her exclusive use and hiss at any other cat who comes near. She’ll sometimes be found outside, wandering around and exploring or “helping”. It’s unfortunate that most of the really cat-savvy people who might take a cat like Chirpy already have a cat – or two, or three…   She needs a home as an only cat, with someone who can read her body-language – give her love when she needs it and back off when she wants space.  The Sanctuary is the next best thing, where she gets some of the things she needs, and we can just mop up after her “accidents”.

The anxious stare…(KN)



Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Karen Nicholson, Anne Parker, Michele Wright