Burnt, bruised and with a badly wounded eye, Elvie’s rescuers at first thought she was dead.
Workers had spotted the terribly injured cat inside the Adelaide Convention Centre’s car park in March, not realising Elvie was still clinging to life until she moved her eyes.
RSPCA South Australia Rescue Officer Nalika rushed to the scene, determining that Elvie had likely climbed into a warm car engine and fallen asleep. The driver probably never knew Elvie was trapped inside the moving vehicle – who knows how far she travelled before escaping.
“She looked so sad and sore. Thankfully, the security guards in the car park rang RSPCA when they realised she was injured and needed help,” Rescue Officer Nalika recalls.
South Aussies rally to help poor Elvie recover
At RSPCA South Australia’s Lonsdale shelter, veterinarians immediately shaved Elvie to treat her burnt body and made sure she didn’t ingest any singed hair and oil. She was placed on pain relief and given ointment for her badly damaged eye and a large burn under her leg.
It was truly unbelievable how sweet and gentle Elvie remained throughout her ordeal. “Even though she had been through so much, she was still able to give us a purr and won the hearts of everyone she met,” says Rescue Officer Nalika.
And her case immediately touched RSPCA South Australia supporters. Dozens responded to an emergency appeal to help cover the hefty veterinary costs of bringing 7-year-old Elvie back to health.
Ordeal continues as Elvie loses an eye
Sadly, not long after her rescue, RSPCA veterinarians determined that Elvie’s terribly injured left eye could not be saved.
So she went into surgery with our caring vet team to have her damaged eye removed, making Elvie far more comfortable and giving her the best chance of recovery.
Through it all, Elvie remained such a cuddly and friendly little lady. She fast became a favourite among staff at our Lonsdale shelter, with a constant stream of staffers stopping by for pats and cuddles.
A loving new home for one-eyed Elvie
Finally, almost two months later, Elvie was well enough to find her forever family. And Brighton friends Caitlin Doyle and Georgia Young instantly knew they had to give Elvie the loving home she deserved.
“We had been talking about the adopting a cat for quite some time – we wanted a pet to care for and love, and to give a homeless kitty (old or young) a home,” Georgia recalls.
“We had private help from the wonderful Heidi Liston at RSPCA Lonsdale – Heidi and I know each other through family. Heidi was amazing and answered lots of our questions, and when she sent us a video of Elvie along with a bit of her story, we knew Elvie had a home with us.”
‘She is super affectionate, playful and funny’
The girls say Elvie settled in astonishingly quickly, especially considering all she had survived.
“We were expecting her to be quite timid and shy, and were ready to give her lots of space while she adjusted to her new home,” Georgia says.
“As it turns out, Elvie doesn’t want space! If she’s not on one of our laps, she is nuzzling or demanding head scratches/tummy rubs. She is super affectionate, playful and funny. Even our vet commented on just how sweet a nature she has.
“Her ‘before’ photos are just heart-wrenching – the poor little thing has been through so much. You honestly wouldn’t know it. She pounces around the place like a carefree kitten in her waking moments, and spends the rest of her days snoozing on the couch in front of the heater! We love her.”
The girls are so besotted by their snow-white kitty that they’ve created her very own Instagram account, @elviesaysmeow, which has already attracted hundreds of followers.
A huge thanks to everyone who donated to help Elvie
Caitlin and Georgia say they continue to be touched by just how many kind-hearted South Australians donated to help RSPCA South Australia help Elvie.
“We’d love to thank all of the beautifully generous people who helped bring her back to health,” Georgia says.
“And it’s really nice to have the opportunity to assure those who knew her at RSPCA South Australia that she is so loved and will be spoiled to bits with us!”
If you notice an animal in distress, please immediately call our 24-hour hotline on 1300 4 777 22. Our rescue officers are entirely funded by community donations. Learn more about their work here.