Many people maintain the opinion that cats are boring, unexciting creatures that sit on perches grooming themselves all day. Here’s what I have to say to that, “you never met my cat, Kirby.”
Rescued from our local humane society, Kirby was a playful orange tabby cat that was noticeably full of energy. Because of his adorable kitten demeanor, my family instantly fell in love with him. We were all excited to take him home in his little house carrier and show him his new kingdom.
Right off the bat Kirby proved to be something different. He had a love for the outdoors and was constantly coming home a mess. For anyone who has owned an outdoor cat, you know there are a few things that you can look forward to: the occasional bird or rodent on your doorstep and the fact they are always, always dirty.
Well, Kirby really took “outdoors” cat to a whole new level. He wasn’t just the typical “roll around in the grass, climb a tree, stalk a bird or two” type of kitty. No, not one bit. Kirby treated our Arizona desert backyard like it was his jungle, and anything that came into that jungle was ultimately his prey. This prey included an array of desert insects, lizards, birds, and rattlesnakes…yes, rattlesnakes.
After Kirby’s first run-in with a rattlesnake we thought a mini-tiger was living amongst us. Who was this ferocious feline? His first incident resulted in a wounded paw but luckily we were able to get him to a vet immediately following the bite. Afterwards, we figured he learned his lesson, calmed down, and changed his “alpha-male” attitude towards his prey. Surprisingly, after nearly losing his leg, Kirby returned to his empire with revenge on his mind, instantly recovering his confident disposition.
During one of our family weeknight dinners, we noticed this orange and black blob rolling across the yard. To no ones surprise, it appeared Kirby had found trouble again. Apparently Kirby and his arch nemesis / best friend, Charles, our neighbor’s cat were at it again. One minute you could find them grooming each other and the next they’d be at each other’s throats. It was the epitome of a love-hate relationship.
Our vet saw Kirby on a consistent basis; you could say he was a regular of sorts. He was in and out of that office for a scrape here, a cut there, and the occasional toxic bite. Ironically, Kirby loved the vet. He was the only cat I knew that would purr in your lap on his way to the animal doctor after a beat-down. It was a relief to know our crazy four-legged companion had proper cat insurance!
Kirby went on to live out all of his nine lives, if not ten. Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t a battle with a rattlesnake that did him in, it was old age. Kirby brought many headaches to our family with his constant injuries but he also brought us plenty of joy and many great memories to look back upon. He was definitely a hooligan cat but we loved every minute of it.