Happy Tails: Ollie

Ollie’s story starts in November 2015. There were spells of cold in Toronto. No big deal, landlords finally turned on some heat, people put on mittens, started browsing trips to the Caribbean and spoke in length about how cold they got from car to the office door.

For Ollie, it was a big deal. The feral cat colony where Ollie belonged had it rough. Glenda, an Annex Cat Rescue volunteer, had her eye on Ollie for a while. She had been finding homes one by one for cats from that colony. Ollie had survived two previous winters both with terrible colds of minus 30 C. A new winter was coming and it was doubtful he would make through it. She made up her mind to trap him and try to help. He was captured and brought to vet who has experience with feral cats. With special care and medical attention, he was going to make it physically.

Ollie was missing some fur

His side lost hair due to frostbite, lots of his teeth were missing and he had FIV. Glenda brought him home to a warm place with food and water. His rehabilitation took three long months. Glenda was committed to the cause. She was sleeping nights with him on the floor and constantly talking to him until one day it just clicked. Total trust and appreciation — he turned into a cuddle bum.

Grown-up cats are not adopted as often as kittens who have a high cuddly factor. People shy away, especially when the cat has a chronic condition such as FIV (common for street cats). What chances would a half-hairless black and white cat have?

It takes a special kind of people to see past all that. Lucky for Ollie, his new family was exactly that. Two young people, about to graduate from college. Both grown up in families where pets always had their place. Living in a smallish apartment in Toronto, they missed a companionship of a cat. In a search for a homely lap-cat, they met Ollie. They saw past the hissing and scars and recognised a potential for infinite love.

Ollie now settled in Nova Scotia

Beating all the odds, Ollie proved that there was no fault in his stars. His foster angel Glenda said “Yes he does have some health issues but it was all worth it especially when you see the results of his transformation. I cried the day he left to go to his forever home, but I am happy knowing he had met the perfect couple to take care of him. It was match made in heaven as they say.”

A year later, his humans were done with school. And Ollie’s hissing and biting days were long over. Today we find Ollie as a king of a cosy three-bedroom townhouse in Nova Scotia. When the couple comes home, they have a happy black and white cat running to greet them at the door. Ollie demands his share of cuddles even before the food.

Ollie dressed up for the Oscars

Ollie has become a true charmer, providing companionship and winning the hearts of all visiting friends with his affectionate nature. However, he does not get along too well with other cats. Nobody is perfect though but Ollie comes close.


People shy away from grown-up cats. It is also natural to be worried about chronic conditions. Ollie’s family had to take few extra steps: Ollie has his own special toothpaste to help him with potential gum trouble and his colds might last a bit longer. However, as an indoor cat, he is looking forward to a long happy life with a family who love him to the moon and back. They would not give up their panda-cat for anything. Though they miss the time they could have had with ‘little kitty’ him (to spare him the hardships of his life prior to his adoption), his past is what makes him the way he is now — a loving, cuddle machine who runs to the door to greet his new family.

— Edith Soosaar

For more information on FIV

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