If Sylvester didn’t already have the coldest, loneliest job on Earth, the note that someone left alongside the cat pretty much guaranteed it.
The letter, stuck to a wall in the house where Sylvester lived, simply read, “Please leave cat alone. Cat there for a reason.”
And that reason? To control the rat population in the Cornwall, Ontario, house.
The thing is, Sylvester wasn’t doing so well at rat control. In fact, his fur was frayed, his body covered in sores, bites and fleas — and he had a severe case of ear mites.
When Rob Boisvert, an animal rescuer with Refuge RR, heard about Sylvester through a friend last month, he paid the house a visit — and found the cat’s working conditions even more nightmarish. The house, in the heart of a neighborhood notorious for drugs and prostitution, was divided by temporary renters.
“When I got there, I was taken back with just how bad it was,” Boisvert says. “It was an actual real-life crack house.”
And Sylvester had obviously not known much in the way of human contact.
“The cat’s whole life was spent under staircase in the hallway,” Boisvert says. “There was no heat in the hallway. The water the cat had was frozen solid.”
Despite his lifelong, lonely vigil over the house’s rat population, Sylvester was more than ready to leave this job and Boisvert refused to leave the house without him.
“He’s a sweet cat,” Boisvert explains. “Once I had him in the box, wrapped up in a blanket, he didn’t even try to get out…It was almost like he knew he was being saved.”
Indeed, Sylvester’s days of battling rats in an icy, dilapidated house are already behind him. Gwen Thompson, founder of Country Cat Sanctuary, is nursing him back to health. His fleas are pretty much banished; same with those ear mites.
Soon Sylvester will be ready for his next gig — as a real member of someone’s family.
Think you might have an offer for him? Get in touch with Country Cat Sanctuary through the group’s Facebook page.