Cat Sanctuary


I’ve not spent a lot of time in the front courtyard of the cat sanctuary, but in search of a new subject for The Neko Files, I thought I’d check out what’s happening with the west side cats.

I asked Bonnie, a long time volunteer, to tell me about any cats she’d come particularly attached to in her years at RAPS and without the slightest hesitation she shouted: “Taboo”!

Taboo, a beautiful brown tabby cat with striking yellow eyes is the sole survivor of a litter of five kittens that were found on the streets of Richmond many years ago and died within six months of their arrival at RAPS. You can recognize her by her odd body shape: a small cat with a large pot belly which makes her look as if she is either pregnant or has a fondness for a wee pint of beer every now and then.

Described in her file as: “tame, with attitude”, Taboo fits that portrayal perfectly. Although she is very sociable with people, she can also be quite skittish and scampers away should anyone try to pick her up. Bonnie’s gentle ways and long connection have earned her some trust and Taboo now allows Bonnie to pick her up occasionally, though not without some apprehension.

On solid ground in the courtyard she seemed quite happy to let me pet her and even treated me to a little marching dance with her two front paws and accompanied this with a loud melodic purr. Taboo held back the hoards of cats all clamouring for a little attention from me with a good claw slashing and hissing before turning back to me with eyes so angelic you’d have thought she descended straight from heaven.

Sweet gentle cat with me; angry, savage beast with the interlopers. Yes indeed, she is tame… with attitude.