Desperate times call for desperate measures.

That’s why a Victoria man hopes a cartoon cat can help his family paw their way in to the city’s congested rental housing market.

Local artist Gareth Gaudin has slapped his well-known creation “Perogy Cat” on a poster in a bid to secure rental housing for his family, who were recently told they must vacate their current home.

“The cat’s more famous than I am. If I went out there and said ‘I need a home,’ there’s 200 people doing it right now,” Gaudin said. “Victoria is full of people looking for places to rent or buy and it’s a really, ridiculously exciting market that I don’t own anything in. So all I can do is use the skills I have as a cartoonist.”

Gaudin said he’s been looking for months but with a rental vacancy rate below one per cent, he’s been shut out of the market.

Enter Perogy Cat.

The ad, which swept social media Monday and is taped to the front door of his business, features the loveable character describing the family’s plight.

“We’re an adorable, professional, artistic, bookstore owning young family of four seeking a three bedroom, pet friendly house to rent long-term starting July or August,” it reads. “We are life-long professional and entrepreneurial Victorians with two charming, responsible and well-behaved daughters. We’d be an asset to any neighbourhood and a delight to have live in your rental house.”

Though he might be the most enterprising, Gaudin is just one of many renters searching high and low for a home.

Searches for “apartment for rent” on have skyrocketed by 150 per cent compared to this time last year.

But help for renters is on the horizon.

Over the weekend, the newest addition to the Hudson District in downtown Victoria held a bustling open house.

The lineup to see the building, which features 178 rental-only units, stretched around the block.

“I’ve been in the industry for a while, I’ve done a couple of project sales, and on average you could get about 50 people through, but nothing like the 220 that we saw,” said realtor Camilla Seibert.

The building’s management group expects to have all of the units rented at least a month before it opens in August.

Gaudin said he’s had plenty of emails and calls about the Perogy Cat poster, but is still looking to secure a home for his family.