Magnum, our magnificent black & white gentleman, has now been with us for 10 years.
Not to be confused with an ordinary common-or-garden feral cat, Magnum is a well brought-up domesticated fellow, complete with electronic chip. In September 2000, at the age of about 18 months, he decided that his mother was a bit too domineering, so he packed his bags and set off to look for a new home where he would not be tied to anyone’s apron strings.
Crabbe in St. Mary seemed to offer everything he was looking for: lots of space, not much traffic and, most importantly, a vast supply of fresh rabbits!
But by October the rain was more frequent and the nights were getting a bit chilly, so he looked for somewhere under cover – and found the firing point on the JPC 25m range. An old cat basket out on the firing point, but lined with towels, was his bed for the first few weeks, but soon he had his own door and was sleeping in the Clubhouse.
For the first few months various Magnum fans would bring up cat food at the weekends – if they remembered – but Monday-to-Friday was self-service and Magnum would get through something like a rabbit a day. Not surprisingly, he became an extremely proficient hunter. He has been known to find, catch, kill and eat the complete head (including the skull!) of a rabbit in about 5 minutes. In those days he seldom wasted anything; the only evidence left after a meal would often be no more than a few tufts of hair.
Although Magnum would often disappear for a day or so, on lengthy walkabouts, in June 2001 all his many fans became very worried by his continuing absence. After 3 or 4 weeks with no sight of him, it seemed likely that something terrible had happened …
… until, in October 2001, a year after he had first appeared, he returned! Complete with a flashy collar.
Shortly afterwards he adopted Vic & Angela Musso as his foster parents and their consistent supply of TLC – and food – ever since, have ensured that he has never gone AWOL again.