Cat Sanctuary

Billy Ray

This sleek black panther came to us in the summer of 2022. He was transferred from a rescue on Vancouver Island, and because he tested positive for FIV, it was decided that he should come to us to join the FIV+ group in the Val Jones pen.


He had been trapped in an area that had quite a few unneutered stray/feral cats, and through the Island rescue, he was fostered for a while. During this period he warmed up to humans a bit, but was not really tame. He came to us with the name of Midnight. Since we already have two Midnights in the Sanctuary (feral Midnight in Pen 4, and shy ex-VOKRA Midnight in the back courtyard), he needed a name-change. Assistant Manager Valerie thought that he was a twin to her own cat Ray, and our boy was renamed Billy Ray.


Having yet another transition was hard on him, and when he first came he would cower in the back of his cage, and would hiss and growl and swat – probably reverting to all the same fearful body language of his initial trapping.  But it didn’t take much time before he was ready to emerge, and to accept, first gentle petting, and then much firmer scritches – both cheek/chin and butt.  The Val Jones cats are very tolerant of each other, and their body language conveys to the rest of the clowder that there’s nothing to fear. Even the most timid of the group, Virginia, is now coming out more frequently and looking for attention.



There is no reason that FIV+ cats cannot be adopted if they fulfil two conditions; they need to remain as indoor cats in order not to spread the virus, and they need to tolerate the company of any other cats in the home; the danger with FIV is the transmission of the virus through the blood of bite wounds. Several of the Val Jones cats are quite adoptable, and Billy Ray is one of that group. Once he trusts, he is happy to come for lap-sitting and petting, with a few ecstatic wiggles to encourage you to continue. Our sweet panther needs a home, and a lap he can claim as his own!

Look for Billy Ray in the Sanctuary Calendar for 2024!


Blog by Brigid Coult
Featured image: “Summer Catnip” by Karen Nicholson,
Photos by Brigid Coult, Brielle Hutchison, Karen Nicholson, Justin Saint