Lou Ellen

Movie fans know that comeback stories – both onscreen and off – are among the most rewarding.

The hoped-for comeback of Lou Ellen, described by a caregiver as “a ravishing beauty in her youth who has fallen on hard times as she’s gotten older” and quite dramatic in scope, could be proverbial Oscar material, if the planets align.

Lou Ellen

The striking long-haired calico, estimated to be about 10 years old, was almost certainly someone’s pet at some point; despite her obvious recent hardships, Lou Ellen is gentle and affectionate, enchanting the humans who cross her path.

She was discovered by a resident of the Atkinson Co-op in Toronto’s Alexandra Park neighbourhood. Annex Cat Rescue volunteers had been canvassing the area this summer as part of its “Co-op Cats” Spay/Neuter campaign. Posters and door-hangers that had been distributed netted calls about feral/strays seen roaming, including Lou Ellen.

So skinny and profoundly underfed was Lou Ellen when she was first discovered at the Co-op that she was mistaken for a kitten. The concerned resident who found her (dubbing her Lou Ellen) wanted to keep the cat but could not, so ACR immediately intervened, collecting Lou Ellen and ferrying her to the vet. As might be imagined under the circumstances, the diagnosis was a classic case of good news/not-so-good news.

The good news: Lou Ellen is FeLV and FIV negative, has been spayed, is regaining weight, and responded to treatment for parasites, fleas and ear mites. Best, she is every inch the poised, lovely lady you would expect from a former pet that had been neglected or discarded but is readying for her next close-up.

The less good news: Lou Ellen has renal insufficiency; she is at about the second stage of the five stages of kidney disease. However, special food and regular vet care renders the condition manageable. Some bald patches now visible on her slight body are related to her diet/kidney issues and should grow back in time. Her teeth may require dental surgery down the road.

All of which are just so many details when weighed against the pluses in the personality column. “She is just so sweet, she likes being petted and doesn’t seem at all afraid of people in general,” offers the ACR volunteer first on the scene when the Co-op resident reported Lou Ellen.

When the volunteer initially glimpsed the cat, “She was eating a can of cat food and didn’t even look up at me until it was finished – she was so hungry and so underweight! But she let people pet her, and let me pick her up and put her in the carrier. On the short trip to the vet, she only mewed quietly a few times as if to check that someone was there.”

Today, Lou Ellen – perhaps destined to play the role of a pussycat Betty White in a similarly glorious return to form – seeks a forever home where her charms can be counted on as a daily occurrence. Kind of like a favorite movie you return to over and over, which just never seems to get old.

By Kimberly Hughes

If you are interested in fostering Lou Ellen, please email Annex Cat Rescue about becoming a foster parent: volunteer@annexcatrescue.ca

If you are interested in giving Lou Ellen a forever home, please email: adoption@annexcatrescue.ca


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