Cat Sanctuary


At last! We have a cat called Neko!

Relaxed in his bed – KN

The RAPS Neko Blog has been around since Claire started it eleven years ago. A couple of years living in Japan gave her the first experience of working with feral cats, and she named the blog with the Japanese word for cat.

Watching from a shelf – BC

We occasionally have cats come to us because someone has a connection with us and is able to pass the word that we are a possible resource. A TNR (trap-neuter-release) program in the upper Fraser Valley took in a very handsome Siamese boy – very scared, so either born feral, or lost for some time. When he was neutered, the routine blood-test showed that he was FeLV – leukemia-positive – and because leukemia is so dangerous for other cats, it was impossible to allow him to be released back to his territory. But at the same time, he was too feral to be homed, and unlikely ever to be adopted by himself. Luckily our friends got word of him, and they were kind enough to drive him all the way to safety with us.

A very scared boy when he arrived – CF

Ferals usually get named by the med-staff, but Neko came to us with that name, and was brought immediately to the area with the leukemia cats. Like all our newbies, he had the first few weeks in a cage to give him time to assimilate to his new surroundings, and to give us a chance to get to know him. Volunteers and Kitty Comforters reported that he was a very scared boy – not aggressive at all, but not willing to venture out of his shelter.

He spent the first few weeks hiding behind his drape – MW

New cats in the leukemia area do one of two things on release – they make for the cage-tops, or they head for the outside area. “Outside” is a covered courtyard, with lots of shelves and high-up spaces. Neko vanished into the rafters there and made himself at home in a basket under the heat lamp. There are several other cats who prefer living outside, but will make occasional visits indoors; Neko wasn’t going to try that.  And after all, why should he? He had a toasty warm bed, he had litterboxes scooped twice daily, there was both canned and dry food delivered to his area

He felt safest close to the rafters – CT

And then, little by little, we began to see more of him.  He would perch up on a shelf and watch as the area was cleaned. Any approach, and he would scurry back to safety, but more and more, curiosity won the day.

Allowing closer contact – KN

He’s getting braver all the time – the last time I fed in the building I had a little bit of pre-feeding snuggles with Smoochie on the couch, and looked up to find that Neko had come through the cat door – presumably, to find what the hold-up was with dinner.  He stayed, watching me, until I got up – and then his caution took him back outside again! He’s starting to allow brief contact, and there are certain people with whom he is obviously more comfortable. He may never be a lap-cat, but he’s coming to know that he’s safe at the Sanctuary.

Is that dinner I see you bringing?  – BC


Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Chelzea Freeman, Karen Nicholson, 
Cheryl Townsend, Michele Wright