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'Sometimes the cats like it': Chorus sings Christmas carols for homeless felines at B.C. sanctuary


On a crisp December morning, days before Christmas, music filled the air at a cat sanctuary in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

The Richmond Chorus was back for what has become a beloved annual tradition: serenading the homeless felines in the care of the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) with Christmas carols.

"Sometimes the cats like it, sometimes they don’t," acknowledged Brigid Coult, who has conducted the chorus for 30 years. "But the volunteers always seem to appreciate it."

This year, a few cats – famously curious creatures – seemed captivated by their live entertainment.

As the festively dressed singers performed, the felines sat and stared, sometimes taking a moment to disruptively bunt their heads into a songbook, or adorably stretch their legs in a sunbeam.

"A couple of them were listening," said Coult, who has also been a RAPS volunteer for the last 13 years.

"Most of them were off wandering around in other places," she added with a laugh.

The sanctuary wasn't the only stop for the chorus this week – the singers tour the city every December, performing for the donor organizations that keep the non-profit Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association thriving throughout the concert season.

The audience at RAPS does get special treatment, however, in the form of what singers have dubbed their "cat-mas carols" – holiday classics with modified (or meow-dified?) lyrics.

Some lyrics stick close to the originals, such as: "O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, your ornaments shine temptingly."

Other songs are rewritten in full, such as the group's twist on "We Three Kings of Orient Are," sung from the perspective of a house cat: "Home is heaven, Home is good, Home is where we get our food, Why go out for Christmas parties? Frankly, we're not in the mood."

Anyone interested in supporting the Richmond Chorus – and providing opportunities for "amateur musicians to share the joy of music in practice and performance," as per the organization's website – can make a donation online and receive a tax receipt. Top Stories

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