A year after a horrifying kicking ordeal that was captured on social media and went viral, King the cat happily basks in royalty at his castle in New York City with his adoptive father.
Well, it’s actually Chris Scordo’s cozy Manhattan apartment rather than a castle. But this King has earned the regal rights with his name, his energy and his survivor’s spirit. And, as is typical of cats, King is the monarch of the home.
“King is healthy now, and he’s happy,” Scordo says.
Scordo, 49, saw King’s picture in a newspaper last June when the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals promoted the cat for adoption after a period of rehabilitation following getting punted like a football in Brooklyn. Scordo – who recently had lost his beloved calico cat, Chandler, to cancer – thought the gray-and-white tuxedo King, estimated to be about a year old, was photogenic and handsome.
“It was love at first sight,” says Scordo, who snapped up the sweet but feisty King at an ASPCA adoption event.
“He’s a great cat. He is not meek at all,” Scordo says. “He’s lovable, but he loves to fight. He loves to throw the first punch.”
That is probably what got King into trouble that day in Brooklyn, Scordo says: King walked up to the wrong guy.
“He loves people,” Scordo says about King. “When I adopted him, I really didn’t think he was a cat. He’ll walk up to any guest in my house or anywhere and approach them. That’s what I love about him. He’s a real cocky, tough guy – very friendly and playful.
“I think his life, including the kick, was his reaching out to people … and being abandoned,” says Scordo, who suspects King may have had owners who threw him out because he was too energetic and pushy.
King’s happy ending was a long and rough time coming, and justice has yet to be served. In early May of 2014, someone took a video of a man viciously kicking this cat in Brooklyn, and posted it to social media. The video went viral on YouTube and resulted in swift outcries to track down the man in the video, whom the New York Police Department say is Andre Robinson.
You can see the video of King the cat being kicked here.
Police arrested Robinson, charging him with animal cruelty, and he was released on bail. Meanwhile, officials with the ASPCA and other animal-welfare organizations visited the housing complex in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood where the incident occurred, looking for the victim cat. They found him and brought the kitty to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where Dr. Robert Reisman, the ASPCA’s supervisor of forensic sciences, did an exam and found injuries.
The ASPCA cared for King for several weeks, both in the hospital and in foster care at the New York City office. Despite his trauma, King proved himself to be an affectionate and playful cat, says Arthur Hazelwood, senior director of the ASPCA Adoption Center.
“Our expert behaviorists determined that King should go to a single-cat household and an owner with previous cat experience who could handle his high energy,” Hazelwood says.
In early June 2014, the ASPCA announced that the high-profile King was ready for adoption. That same day, Scordo came to meet him. And though King indeed is the only cat, he shares a Manhattan apartment with Scordo’s menagerie of other critters, including 15 hamsters and a rabbit named Suitcase. King’s carnivorous nature isn’t activated at home for some reason, and he often cuddles with the bunny – though at first, King bullied Suitcase, who has taught the cat to be gentle, Scordo says.
Meanwhile, Robinson, 22, turned down a plea offer of a misdemeanor with jail time and opted for a trial. But he was a no-show last month at Brooklyn Criminal Court, according to the New York Daily News. Robinson was busy in Virginia, where police arrested him and charged Robinson with three counts of credit-card fraud. It remains to be seen how his story will end – but, we are glad that King emerged from his ordeal a happy and loved cat.
You can visit the Justice for King Facebook page to follow his case.