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The story is form maybe 15 years ago, but I wanted to share it and maybe ask if anyone had ever encountered a similar cat in their life. This is a story about Rudy, the weirdest (feral?) cat that ever lived in my house.

Rudy was a rather big adult ginger tabby that one day simply wandered into our backyard. He was in a bad shape, scratches all over, like he got attacked by another animal. At first he was a bit cautious, but after three days of food Rudy was cool with being petted and even got into the house. We started asking around if someone was missing a big cat but no owners were to be found. Two weeks in and he was a happy indoor/outdoor cat with the wounds pretty much healed.

Then he disappeared. We tried to look for him but the beast was nowhere to be found. Few weeks have passed and then Rudy was back. Scratches all over, even more than the first time. He just wandered inside like he was never gone and started demanding food and cuddles. Over time his injuries healed and then he was gone again. It went on like that for about two years. Two weeks in, two weeks out. Back with battle wounds all over.

In that time we learned that in his out time he lived in the nearby forest. My mom even saw him hunt there, he caught a squirrel like a pro. Sometimes he would bring us “gifts” from his escapades: anything from a rat to a racoon. During all that time he was friendly towards humans but only while in his at home mode, and if you hurt him, even by accident he would lash out like a monster. Till this day I have a scar on my arm from his bite. (I might have been throwing snowballs at him. I was 10 at the time, don’t judge me.)

One day, after about two years with us, Rudy simply didn’t come back home from his, as we called it, adventure time.
 

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Weird? I would call that normal behavior for an unneutered male especially a "ginger tabby" as they can be prone to getting into fights with other tom cats. That's what feral tom cats do, is to patrol and protect their territory, fight, and often get injured by other cats or animals such as coons, coyotes, foxes which can result in infections which can be the cause of their death as well as diseases. Most ferals have a shorter life span than indoor cats---4-5 yrs. if in a community of cats, only 2-3 yrs. if alone. It's not a long life for ferals, whereas the average life span of an indoor cat is 15-1/2 yrs.
 
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