Meet Pirate Cat: The feral cat allowed to roam free in Marion County but not Carmel

Photo of Pirate Cat provided by Cancilla

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you’ve ever visited the Monon Trail or if you live somewhere around 96th Street, you’re probably familiar with the infamous Pirate Cat.

Contrary to what his name might have you believe, he is completely harmless. His primary activities include sun bathing and seeking attention from anyone he encounters.

He’s also not homeless. He wears a bright red collar with a metal tag that directs people to his Facebook fan page (yes, this local celebrity has a fan page) as well as a phone number that goes straight to this recorded message informing the caller to put the cat down and let him return to his walk.

Pirate Cat belongs to Amanda Cancilla and her boyfriend Matt Gufreda. They first met Pirate Cat while Gufreda was volunteering at FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic. He had previously been both an outdoor and indoor cat, but not long after the couple took him home, they realized he preferred to be outside.

So in order to help Pirate Cat live his best life, they took him to the vet to “tip” his ear. According to Indy Feral, “eartipping” is the sign of a community cat who has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

Cancilla also encourages people to take photos with him and post them on his Facebook page.

But despite Cancilla’s best efforts, Pirate Cat was arrested earlier this month for “exhibiting antagonizing behavior toward canines,” according to the Indy Star.

He was picked up by an Indiana State Police trooper and put in the back of the cruiser. Gufreda later picked him up, and no citation was issued.

According to the Indy Star, the issue is the difference in the definition of a feral cat between Marion County (which is where Pirate Cat technically lives) and Carmel. In Marion County, a cat is allowed to roam free as long as it is vaccinated and eartipped. However, in Carmel feral cats are considered a “public nuisance” and the owners of cats found roaming outside could be fined $100.

Unfortunately, Pirate Cat doesn’t know the difference between Marion County and Carmel.

Cancilla is hoping Pirate Cat will be pardoned by Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. In the meantime, they’re selling #FreePirateCat stickers to his supporters.

Pirate Cat and new caretakers Lisa and Amanda will be on FOX59, our news gathering partner, Wednesday morning at 9:20 a.m.

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