Happy Tails: Lenny

Living behind a pizza store proved to be too much of a temptation for a gourmand like Lenny as the pizza diet had taken its toll on the senior cat’s health. When he was rescued by Annex Cat Rescue, he needed to be treated for diabetes. Now in his forever home and being fed a balanced diet, he is thriving, despite a few health scares along the way.

Lenny in his foster home

Lenny was placed in an ACR foster home where he received special care for his diabetes, which included being fed specific amounts of food at precise times and going for checkups while his blood sugar was levelling out. “Lenny was really cooperative, even with injections, although he didn’t much like being put on a restricted diet,” said his foster parent, Melanie.

Jamie was looking to adopt an older cat who needed a good home. He had a thing for ginger cats as he fondly remembered a few from his childhood who had great personalities and were super-cuddly. The description of Lenny on ACR’s website matched these characteristics. Despite being described as a love bug, Lenny was having trouble finding a home because of his age and diabetes.

Lenny had been living in ACR foster care for about a year when Jamie came to meet him. Lenny wasn’t at all timid around his visitor. He walked around and chased his ball and Jamie had a chance to ask questions. Lenny’s foster parent felt that Jamie was very knowledgeable about the care required to treat Lenny’s diabetes. Jamie appreciated Lenny’s relaxed nature and looked forward to bringing him home.

After living with Jamie for a short amount of time, Lenny became sick and needed to be rushed to the emergency vet. The test results showed liver failure and the vet was not hopeful that Lenny would recover. Despite the results, Lenny kept showing signs of improvement and Jamie was able to take him back home.

Lenny sleeping

However, Lenny wasn’t out of the woods yet – Lenny’s diabetes needed to be treated with insulin shots twice a day. Jamie worked out his schedule to ensure that he was there to give Lenny his injections in a timely manner. On days when he couldn’t get home in time from work, he hired an experienced pet service to come in.

Jamie didn’t mind having an excuse to spend more time at home with his buddy. “I forgot how nice it is to come home and have him waiting for me. He really livens up the place,” said Jamie. His friends are equally charmed by Lenny. “Anyone who meets him is hooked and he can win over anyone.”

Lenny and Jamie

A year later, Lenny is happily in remission and his diabetes is being managed by a diet. At 21 pounds, he’s a big fellow with a personality and appetite to match. In between meal times, he doesn’t hesitate to let Jamie know that he’s hungry with a loud, long yowl. Sometimes, he will lick his empty bowl while glaring at Jamie.

Jamie’s advice to anyone looking to adopt a senior cat is to give them a chance. “Any affection they receive, they give back double.” Lenny is equally demanding for attention as he is for food. Whenever Jamie sits on the couch, Lenny clambers to sit in his lap, sometimes tucking himself under his arm.

–Jillian Kaster

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