Ringo follows beat of his own drum

By Jeff Nations

WINCHESTER — It’s safe to say that Ringo is one cat that follows the beat of his own drum.

The tri-color neutered tomcat has been a resident at Frederick County’s Esther L. Boyd Animal Shelter since coming in as a stray on July 16, and he soon settled into his place within the band of cats populating the open front area of the facility.

The specifics on Ringo are a little sparse, of course — shelter assistant manager Holly Grim estimated him to be between 5 to 7 years old, with most likely some Ragdoll and Siamese lineage.

That’s a strange mix, too — the Ragdoll is a breed renowned for its chilled-out nature and tendency to simply go limp when held. The hyper-vocal, hyper-active Siamese would never be mistaken for that, which could make prospective families a bit curious about just what sort of cat they’d be bringing home in the blue-eyed Ringo.

“He’s more on the relaxed side,” Grim said. “He just likes to hang out and he doesn’t mind any of the other cats.”

Ringo is well-socialized, likely the result of having previously been a house pet. He was found at a local residence with no tags, and went unclaimed by his previous owner. He did briefly demonstrate that Siamese-like range with a resounding meow, but for the most part keeps his singing to a minimum just like his Beatles namesake, legendary drummer Ringo Starr.

The change from house cat, to stray, then to shelter life might understandably be upsetting for many animals. But for Ringo, not so much — the medium-haired tom seems to make the best of whatever his situation.

“He gets along well with other cats,” Grim said. “He likes to be petted and he’s just a real friendly cat.”

That fur — Ringo has an unusual combination of light brown, black and white — would require brushing, about the only maintenance necessary for the well-adjusted feline.

Right now, Ringo is one of about 20 cats inhabiting the shelter’s open front area, with another 10 or so in single cats and about 15 more in the kitten room. For summer time, that’s not bad for real estate. At times, the shelter is home to more than 100 cats at once.

Grim said adoptions have been going well recently, perhaps a result of school being back in session.

“It’s been pretty good lately,” Grim said. “I think now that the kids are back in school and things have settled down, people are settled down enough to where they can consider having a pet.”

Grim thinks those looking for a companion animal could do worse than take a chance with Ringo. Until then, he’ll likely just keep going with the flow in his latest temporary home.

He’s a nice indoor cat for somebody,” Grim said.

The Esther L. Boyd Animal Shelter is located at 161 Fort Collier Road, Winchester. For more information on Ringo, call 540-667-9192.