Wednesday Pop-Up: Cat Tails

Today’s Cat Tails star was only in our lives for a very short time but made a big impact on all of us. With beautiful markings and a laid-back personality, he made himself right to home after having disappeared for three months.


Ransom was one of two kittens who showed up in the garage with their stray mother cat. She kept them outside for several months, and while she became the neighborhood pet, the kittens remained skittish.

When we discovered the cats taking refuge in our garage, we scheduled surgeries for them. We were able to catch one of the kittens, but Ransom got scared and we couldn’t catch him.

A few months later, we decided it was time to take Ransom in to get neutered. The night before the scheduled surgery, he took off. He didn’t come back, and after several weeks we figured that he was gone for good.

About three months after he left, Ransom mysteriously reappeared. Before that, he’d been skittish and not very friendly. When he returned, he was a different cat. He wanted in the house, and he came in and went back out again as if he were used to doing so.

The only possible reason we could think of for the change in him was that he’d become a part of someone else’s household while he was gone. Maybe when he left our garage, he’d found his way to another house and the people had made a house cat of him. We never did find out for sure, because he stayed close to our home after he came back.

He liked to sleep on the beds. He got along well with our dog. We all enjoyed having him around.

One time, my son watched as Ranson brought a squirrel up onto the deck and proceeded to eat the whole thing, minus the tail.

Because Ransom was an indoor/outdoor cat and we wanted to keep the pet population in the neighborhood down, I scheduled him for surgery (again). This time he went willingly into the carrier. The vet wanted to run some tests before surgery. The test results were heartbreaking. He had FIV, a feline aids virus. It’s transmitted through blood and, like with humans, sexual contact.

The virus is contagious and incurable. Since Ransom was part of our household of cats, we didn’t want them to get infected. So we made the tough choice to put him down.

The loss of this mysterious cat saddened all of us.

A few weeks after we put Ransom down, a stray female cat showed up with two kittens. They looked a lot like Ransom, and we guessed that he was their father. We had the kittens tested for FIV and they were negative.

Having a part of Ransom in the two kittens made losing him a little easier, but he will always remain one of our favorites.

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