Have you been following the St. Louis Cardinals Rally Cat story? You can’t make this stuff up.
Earlier this month, a little feral kitten made headlines as the “Rally Cat” after he ran across the field during a Major League Baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. Immediately after he was taken from the field, the Cards rallied and won the game.
This video will refresh your memory:
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 10, 2017
This was no ordinary story, however. Right after being taken rather clumsily from the field, the kitten was set down outside and lost, then snatched up by a fan who lost him again, and finally trapped and found by St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. Crazy, right?
Well the story doesn’t end there.
After “Rally” started getting tons of attention from fans, everyone wondered where he would go. Who would get to adopt him? The little tabby basically ended up in the middle of a custody battle between the Cardinals and the rescue group.
The Cardinals staked a claim to the cat (remember, this was after they released him outside in the middle of a game) when they specifically referred to him “our” cat to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“The St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach organization has assured us they will be returning our cat to us after a mandatory 10-day quarantine period,” said Ron Watermon, the team’s vice president of communications.
However, the SLFCO announced that no such discussion had taken place. They took to Facebook to clear things up and express their disappointment over Watermon’s statement:
Discussions about the adoption ended after the Cardinals demanded that post be taken down and the group refused. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“Cat people are different human beings than the rest of us,” said Al Watkins, legal counsel for the nonprofit and Rally Cat — yes, the cat has a lawyer. “They take very seriously that the best interest of the cat is being prioritized and it became clear that the Cardinals were more interested in exploiting the cat for commercial interests.”
Cardinals vice president of communications Ron Watermon responded by saying, “We would dispute their version of things, but don’t want to be engaged in a cat fight.”
Despite the disagreement, the Cardinals will still keep their promise to hold an event that will help raise funds for St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach – a Sept. 10 home game as Rally Cat Appreciation Day. The team will give fans who purchase a theme ticket a Rally Cat T-shirt. Proceeds will be donated to Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach.
So where is Rally now? According to St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach, “Rally cat has officially been cleared of quarantine by our vet! He still only weighs a little more than a pound so he is currently on prescription high calorie food to help him gain some weight. Rally Cat is still too small to receive his vaccinations / neuter and he is being monitored closely in a foster home. Our vet will continue keeping a close eye on him over the next couple weeks.”