Jolene may steal your heart

Dolly Parton once wrote about Jolene, “your beauty is beyond compare … please don’t take my man … don’t take him just because you can.”

The Jolene pictured here looks perfect for the part. Just ask the frisky cast of the famous musical production CATS. Jellicle cats of any persuasion possess an exquisite sense of entitlement and feline flirtatiousness impossible to ignore. But alas, our Jolene could never play The Vamp. She’s got more in common with Grizabella, the ragged old Glamour Cat. Even at the tender approximate age of six, she knows far too well what it is to be discarded all alone in the moonlight.

The scene has been played out countless times throughout history: the baby in the basket left on a doorstep. In some cases, there’s a note attached. Usually, there’s just the baby looking up at the finder in desperate hope for a happy ending.


There may not have been a note attached to Jolene, but there’s plenty of hope attached to this rescue tale!

The doorstep where Jolene was abandoned is that of the Beaches Animal Hospital where hope comes in the form of a friendly staff with a genuine love of animals. The dramatic event took place one ordinary morning back in June. The staff had just opened up and were preparing for the day when they noticed a cat carrier outside the front door. Tucked inside was the most adorable gray and white short-haired cat with the longest of whiskers!

Such a thing had happened before – a box of kittens appeared out of thin air. Stray cats also sometimes find their way to BAH, one way or another. Currently there are five cats at the clinic ready for adoption including our featured feline.

I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that the doorsteps of veterinary clinics are a popular venue for pet abandonment. If only pet owners in need of re-homing would consider approaching the friendly staff for help rather than choosing the doorstep dump. They may be amazed at how supportive veterinary staff can be in these difficult situations. Knowing the medical history and personality of the pet makes matchmaking much easier.

Not that a veterinary clinic should be expected to double as an adoption agency, mind you. Our local animal shelters and private rescue groups are there for that purpose when there are no other alternatives to the owner after checking with friends and family. But in some circumstances, a veterinary clinic may be in a position to help. For instance, they may know of a client who has recently lost a beloved pet looking to adopt another.

Our friends at BAH always do what they can for an animal in need. While it would have been more beneficial if her owner had escorted her in that day, this doorstep damsel received a red carpet welcome nonetheless! One of the girls at the front desk named the clinic’s latest rescue case Jolene, and so begins the search for a loving and lasting new family.

Thankfully, Jolene received a clean bill of health after a thorough examination. She might be a bit chubby but that’s easily resolved with a nutritious diet and, of course, daily exercise … if you can get her out of the pile of plastic bags kept in the storage bin in the back room. Jolene loves an afternoon snooze atop bag mountain.

Even if she had a past life as a flamboyant famous dancer like Grizabella, Jolene has remained ever-so-sweet and eternally modest. She loves to cuddle up close rather than boast about her past fame, real or make-believe. She also likes to cat it up with the other adoption hopefuls. When the staff head home at the end of the day, I can just imagine them striking up the band and throwing one heck of a Jellicle Ball!

Among the party goers would be the forever formal and friendly Batman in his black and white tux, whose owners moved but failed to update his microchip. There’s also the forever-famished Siamese named Cornelius who came in as a stray. As far as Cornelius is concerned, there are never enough appetizers served at these nightly balls. Winona, the big talker of the crowd, was another unclaimed stray found pawing at the private doorstep of one of the veterinarians. A sassy, independent gal named Patty completes their social circle, at least until each member of the ‘Cat Pack’ gets adopted.

I know it won’t be long for Jolene to steal your heart … just because she can. In the meantime, she’s working 9 to 5 at the vet clinic. What a way to make a living.


Jolene is an approximately 6-year-old gray and white short-haired domestic cat waiting to win you over with her Jellicle charm at Beaches Animal Hospital (, 2304 Queen St. E., 416-690-4040. If there’s a man in your house, she promises not to steal him … at least not intentionally.

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