Halifax County resident Hank Humphreys is the proud owner of a new kitten, courtesy of his cat, “Ghost,” but the story doesn’t begin or end there.

Call it divine providence or just plain coincidence, but Humphreys, who now counts four cats and two dogs among his menagerie, is simply happy being the beneficiary of good fortune.

At one point, Humphreys owned two cats, Slinky, an indoor cat, and Mechi, an outdoor cat.

Slinky was diagnosed with cancer a little more than three years ago, and the veterinarian performed surgery, extending Slinky’s life for about three years.

Slinky died June 12, but before that, “Ghost,” an outdoor tom cat that simply showed up at Humphrey’s doorstep some time earlier, brought him a “present.”

“The Sunday before she died, I looked out and saw my tomcat, Ghost, and he was bringing me a kitten,” recalled Humphreys, who named the kitten “Spook.”

Humphreys is almost certain that Ghost, who comes inside on occasion, knew that Slinky was dying and brought him a kitten.

“I think it was a miracle,” said Humphreys. “I just happened to see him coming up into the yard with a kitten in his mouth,” said Humphreys.

“I’ve never heard of a tomcat bringing a kitten to somebody. My vet tells me that male tomcats generally kill kittens.”

Humphreys currently owns four cats, Ghost, Spook, Mechie and Catfish, and two dogs, Double Trouble and Millie.

Mechie is Spanish for kitty, according to Humphreys, and is an outside cat, and Catfish, a spayed female, stays inside.

Catfish showed up on his own one Memorial Day Monday and got his name from the fish he tossed out for the cat to eat.

Ghost came into Humphreys’ life when he saw him eating out of Mechie’s food dish, and he got his name from the way he would just show up one day and be gone the next.

“It took me six months to touch him,” said Humphreys of Ghost.

“He’s out on a date,” said Humphreys with a smile.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.