Archived Story

Mystery of the vanishing cats

Published 1:43pm Monday, August 27, 2012

By DALE BRAKHAGE / Community Columnist

Have cats mysteriously vanished from your neighborhood? At least 10 pet cats disappeared from two neighborhoods in Indian Springs lately. They were not wild cats, but domestic cats, house pets with collars, rabies tags and families that loved them.

Cats have been mysteriously vanishing from Indian Springs. (contributed)

Prissy was first. She was 11 years old, one of three house cats belonging to John and Katrina Blackwell. They live off McGuire Road. Prissy was not a roaming animal, so the next day Katrina put up “Missing Cat” signs throughout Indian Springs. Sadly, after a week Prissy was obviously gone.

One week later, and less than a half mile away, Beth and Buddy Heerton lost their pet cat. They live off Miller Circle. Beth reported, “Our cat just vanished.”

In the month of May, five cats disappeared from houses on her block. Beth said, “Some of those cats were very streetwise; yet they vanished without a trace. No one heard anything. No one found a fluff of hair, blood or any sign of them.”

Back at the Blackwells, their two other cats disappeared in June.

“We believe something came onto the land and scared away our cats, Thomas and Jojo,” speculated Katrina. “Coyotes, or something. Thomas would have never left our property.”

There is a glad/sad/glad ending, however, to the Thomas and Jojo story. They came back. After four days of being gone, Thomas came home; but he had a crushed pelvis. Thomas had no other injuries, but the cat was hurt so dreadfully he had to be put to sleep. Two days after that, Jojo returned, freaked out but uninjured. That was a difficult week emotionally for Katrina, John and their two young sons.

The same month, another family on the same street lost two well-loved and cared-for house cats.

In the June 29 issue of The Village Voice, our Indian Springs Newsletter, Mayor Steve Zerkis mentioned missing cats. He gave good advice about keeping pets safe.

Is it coyotes? There seem to be fewer this year, but some have been seen.

The mystery remains. If anyone knows what happened to the cats, please e-mail this columnist.


Dale Brakhage writes a weekly column about Indian Springs and its residents. You can reach him at

  • Safe Animals in Ala

    No domestic pet should be left outdoors. If you have taken on the responsibility of a pet you should provide a safe and healthy home for the pet. Pets allowed to roam are subject to the harsh realities of the food chain. If it’s bigger than you, it may eat you… may run over you, it may harm you. While on the subject, all pets should be spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, and seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year. As for the comment from the previous poster, perhaps the cats spraying your patio are feral. These cats can be trapped, neutered and released back in your area. They will form a Colony that will not allow other cats to come to the area and they will no longer have the need to spray their (your) territory. We have a very successful colony in our sub division, all products of TNR that no longer impact our area in an unsatisfactory manner. I urge any and all to learn all they can on the importance of proper pet ownership as well as TNR.

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  • greeneye4313

    First let me say I AM an animal lover …..a responsible animal lover. I have had both cats and dogs all my adult life and they live long lives and give me much pleasure. However having said that I believe that responsible animal lovers both DOG and CAT should keep their animals on their own property and in their own homes. Cats are notorious for roaming and spraying territory…well that is fine IF it is their owners property but nothing is as irritating as to come out and my patio or garage be sprayed by someone elses cat!!!!! Keep your cats at HOME and love and take care of them and they will not go missing. I would never let my cat roam in a neighborhood. Their are leash laws for dogs….why not cats????

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