Happy Tails: Agent Dale Cooper

There are photogenic cats. And then there is Agent Dale Cooper, for whom the cat sweater might well have been invented. Of course, before Coop – as he is known colloquially – could pursue his supermodel hobby, he had to be homed. That’s where his “failed foster,” eventual adopter mom Laura came in.

Agent Dale Cooper

Not only did Coop bring joy and a heck of a photo scrapbook into Laura’s life, he also led her to Annex Cat Rescue where today she serves as a board member and a crucial lead on the foster team. Funny how fate has a way of tying disparate threads together into a tidy bow.

“In August of 2015, I was feeding stray cats on the porch of my house and Coop started showing up,” Laura says. “He was so tiny I thought he was a kitten. He kept trying to get into the house, so I scooped him up and brought him in and realized he wasn’t a kitten but a skin-and-bones, patchy-furred, sickly, covered-in-fleas old man who weighed just 1.8kg.

“The next day I took him to the vet and while we were in the waiting room, we met (tireless long-time ACR volunteer) Jacqueline. She was so blown away by Coop’s gentleness that she suggested I foster him.”

In short order – and after due diligence around the neighbourhood to ensure Coop wasn’t an owned cat that had gone missing – Laura became an ACR volunteer with Coop as her foster. The initial plan was to get Coop ready for an adopt-a-thon that September. But fate once again intervened.


“He needed all sorts of care including dental surgery. He briefly went up on the ACR website – and got tons of responses because he was photographed in costume (naturally) but he was just too sick to be adopted. It took almost a year of ongoing vet visits to finally get him on the right dose of meds for what turned out to be IBS.”

By May 2016, Laura had adopted Coop – estimated to be age 12 or 13 – who slowly but surely settled into the household with new cat brothers Indiana Jones and Mandy Patinkitten. As for his odd name, Laura says with a chuckle, “When I first found him on my porch, my roommate and I just happened to be watching Twin Peaks. So…”

Agent Dale Cooper on his one year adoptiversary
Laura’s key takeaway from her experience with Coop?

“People shouldn’t assume a cat they see outside is OK. You should check on them, search lost pet sites, and wonder why they are out looking for food. Coop was so sick when I found him – anaemic with broken teeth, severely underweight and with the worst flea infestation I have ever seen – that he likely wouldn’t have lasted much longer on the street.

“Today, he is just the sweetest boy. He loves being held like a baby on his back. He is on my boyfriend Dave’s lap all the time. He’s a perfect angel. All he wants is to cuddle and eat his food and sleep. And really, special needs cats are the best,” Laura adds.

“They’re so sweet and loving and it’s really not that much more work.”

–Kim Hughes

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