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The Story Behind This Shelter Cat’s Unusual Appearance

When the staff at a northern California animal shelter first saw Rogue, a stray cat, she was in bad health.


“We don’t know anything about her former life before coming to our shelter,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, communications manager for the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA). “On January 22, a person spotted her as a stray on the street and brought her to us. She lacked an ID and a microchip.”

And the unfortunate cat had the worst case of mange that the shelter vets had ever seen on a cat, which is why Rogue has such a distinct appearance today.


Mange is a painful ailment produced by minute mites that burrow into the skin of an animal, creating horrible rashes and discomfort.

Mange, fortunately, may be treated and eliminated. In Rogue’s case, though, the sickness left an imprint on her. When the fur on her head began to come back, it was completely white, not black or orange like the rest of her tortoiseshell coat.

“She was in poor shape… there were open wounds on her head,” Tarbox added. “She is now entirely recovered, and her hair has returned to a pure white color. Our lead vet believes her hair turned white as a result of the stress she’s been through.”

Rogue has gone through a lot at the age of two, but she has a long and happy life ahead of her now that she is healthy and protected. And her out-of-the-ordinary look has certainly helped her get noticed. A volunteer at the shelter fell in love with her just a few days after she was put up for adoption and wanted to take her permanently.

“She is a really nice cat,” Tarbox added. “And she was just recently adopted.”


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