Maine Coon tomcat roamed the neighbourhood getting into fights before selecting his new home

OLNEY, MARYLAND, USA - NEWS AND VIEWS: It is highly unusual, perhaps almost unique, for a gloriously fine looking, silver tabby Maine Coon purebred cat to remain unsterilised and to be allowed to roam around his neighbourhood picking fights with other cats, which he no doubt won because of his 18 pound size. Apparently he had lost some teeth but was in otherwise good health.

Karen Efird, grandson and Hobo
Karen Efird, grandson and Hobo. Photo: Karen's husband?

His owner was Irina Guerman. She obviously has what I would describe as a laissez-faire attitude towards cat guardianship. In fact she had two cats but her beautiful Maine Coon decided on a new home during his extended travels.

Karen Efird saw the 18-pound cat just after Thanksgiving in 2020. He was having a nap in the bushes at the side of her home. She had seen him before but this time he let her approach with food and water. Other people had seen him and he had acquired a nickname among residents: "Ghost Cat". Others called him 'Bigfoot'. He liked to wander through homeowner's backyards. Karen Efird named him 'Hobo'.

Hobo turned up last Christmas at Karen's home and they wanted to let him in but in a cautious way. He ended up fully in the house and from that point they discovered his legal owner. His real name at that time was Kuzi. He was about six years old then. He had to cross two roads to get to Karen's home. By that time he had been neutered.

Guerman bought Hobo from a Virginia breeder in 2015 when he was three and a half months old. She was used to him disappearing for days and even weeks at a time. In October 2018 she thought that he had died when he failed to return.

It seems that Hobo really liked the neighbourhood where Karen lived because he kept on returning. It then seems that Guerman decided enough was enough and that it would be better for Hobo if he lived with somebody else and so she posted on the website Nextdoor an offer for somebody to adopt him. Karen had not seen that post but she herself had posted online a few days after Christmas asking about the cat.

Karen and her family had decided that they really liked Hobo because he was so sweet natured but she disliked the fact that he was running loose, to use her words. Karen connected up with Guerman online and asked her whether she could adopt Hobo. Guerman said yes.

Another neighbour who had also fed Hobo, Jenny Wilson, has bittersweet emotions about his adoption. She was happy that he had been adopted but unhappy that she would not see him again. It appears that many people in the neighbourhood had looked out for him.

Karen says that since he's moved in he has been exploring the home and he sleeps at the foot of their bed. He spends most of his time grooming. She has tried to get rid of his matts in his fur without success. He didn't like it. Comment: I think that she will have to have some professional help to shave the matts out and then allow the fur to grow back.

Karen and family plan to take Hobo on their trips in their RV. She said that wherever they go he's going to come with them. Guerman occasionally visits Hobo in his new home where he has fully settled in and become a member of the family. Karen said: "This guy just wants to lay around and be loved. And that works for us."

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