Monon Trail icon Pirate Cat battling kidney problem

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s sad news for a landlubber on the Monon Trail who wishes he was sailing the high seas.

His name is Pirate Cat. He’s got thousands of followers on Facebook and has been a fixture for years at a parking lot on 96th Street.

But, he was just diagnosed with advanced kidney problems.

From his perch in the grass, he may not look like a buccaneer or a sea dog. But make no mistake, it’s the purr-fect view from the crow’s nest for a pirate surveying the high seas, better known as the parking lot of the Monon Trail at 96th Street.

His pillaging and exploits are followed by more than 4,600 on Facebook.

“That’s because he’s cute. He’s a cutie,” said Hollie Dunn.

“My kids look forward to seeing the cat when we come and ride on the Monon,” added Victoria Wilburn.

It’s all in fun. His page filled with pirate lingo, including drinking rum, which is code for his water bowl sitting between two benches.

He’s been roaming about five years, ever since his owners who live nearby picked him up from the FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic in the Mass Ave cultural district. They took him home only to find he hates the indoors.

“When we first got him, he would sit on your shoulder like a parrot but Parrot didn’t seem like quite the right name,” said owner Amanda Cancilla.

So Pirate Cat was born. Perhaps like any good yarn, it was destiny.

The feline is a supposed sea-loving buccaneer hundreds of miles from the ocean, though not too far from the steady roar of Interstate 465 overhead.

Cancilla said the Facebook page and popularity was born of necessity. People kept picking him up thinking he was a stray.

Now, it’s not so easy to keep up with.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said with a laugh.

But, recent sad news has brought some tears.

Kidney problems diagnosed two years ago have advanced to Stage 3. It’s a questionable diagnosis for an old pirate.

“He could last for months. He could last for years,” Cancilla said.

But, he will live it to the end around the Monon Trail where he first raised the Jolly Roger, free for the wind to blow in his fur.

“We want him to be happy. He’s happy on the Monon. He really is,” Cancilla said.

Dunn had a cat who went through a similar health issue recently.

“I think it’s amazing they’re letting Pirate Cat go out and pillage and have him run with the people and live his best life to the end,” she said.

Wilburn said his absence will be missed but is also glad he’s still free to roam.

“I feel like Pirate Cat has lived his best life,” she said. “I think we could all earn a little from Pirate Cat because everything is day by day, just welcoming to all people, all walks of life. He doesn’t know a stranger. I think we should all live a little more like that.”

Cancilla said his medicine will prolong his life so she asks that no one feed him. The more medicine he gets by coming home regularly, the better it is.

But, feel free to give him water and keep him hydrated, which seems appropriate — after all he is a pirate.

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