Elly Van der Hout 1934 - 2004
In the Autumn of 2001 we were carrying out our normal neutering campaign and met Elly Van der Hout. Elly was born in Holland but had travelled the world and had spent time living and working in many different countries including New York and Paris. By the time we met her, she had been living in Fuerteventura since the mid 80's at a small house in the village of Los Estancos. During the years that Elly lived in Fuerteventura, many homeless cats found their way to her garden, she would take them to the vets to get them sterilised as often as she could afford to and each day she gave them supper, which was a mixture of cat food, bread rolls, pasta and left overs. Elly brought some of her wild farm cats into us to be sterilised, at this time we used to work in the holiday apartments and convert them into a make shift clinic for 1 week, Elly noticed how difficult this was for us, we were working in cramped conditions that were not ideal. Elly invited us to visit her home at the end of our week, to meet her 4 legged cat family.
At the end of our week, we packed everything up and got ready to depart for the UK but just before we headed for the airport we went up to Ellys house. She showed us around her home and introduced us to her feline gang and made us a very welcome pot of tea. She was a very interesting lady with stories of her world travels, she was full of compassion and kindness. We chatted for a while and with the clock ticking we had to head off to the airport, just then Elly made the most thoughtful and generous gesture, she offered Twinkle the use of her house to work in during our future neutering campaigns. This was fantastic, having more space and a better working environment meant that we would be able to help more cats during each campaign. From this point on, our relationship with Elly was bonded forever. Not only did Elly turn over her house to Twinkle twice a year for our campaigns, she converted her storage rooms for us to use as temporary hospital rooms and would roll up her sleeves and get stuck in with the rest of us.
Tragically, in 2003 Elly was diagnosed with cancer, she was very spiritual and believed she had many more years to live, so this was a tremendous shock. Sadly, Elly lost her battle against the cancer in September 2004 but even after her death she is still helping us. Elly bequeathed her house and her family of cats to Twinkle. We all miss Elly and feel truly blessed to have met such an inspirational and compassionate lady.