We were driving down the road on July 24th, 1996, when we say Darby laying in the middle of the road, looking for all the world like a dead cat. However, it was odd that he was in the middle of the road, so we pulled over and Kathy went to have a look. He was alive! We were just in time -- just a moment later a car came around the corner and would have run over Darby. He was in bad shape; Kathy said that he looked like he just wanted her to let him die. We bundled him carefully into the car and rushed to the vet's.
The vet saved him. From his internal injuries the vet believes that he was not struck by a car, but was thrown out of a car, for he hit his head on a hard object and nearly died of the brain swelling. Unfortunately, Darby was, understandably, terrified of people and the vet pronounced him unmanageable. But Kathy wanted to bring Darby around so we brought him home and put him in my office where he would be the only cat.
For the first week he stayed wedged into the tiny space between my desk and the wall, refusing to come out when anybody was in the room. We coaxed him out by laying flat on the floor, looking away, and extending one forefinger close enough for him to sniff. From that small beginning we slowly progressed, building his trust in us, but it was a very slow process. After a few years, he trusted us enough to come begging for attention at night, and he even allowed us to pick him up, but if we made any sudden moves, he’d dash under the bed.
He was probably a Chartreuse mix. His song (sung to the tune of "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy") is:
I'm a Darby Doodle Kitty
Poochy cheeks and curly tail
Shredding paper is my favorite game,
Trouble is my middle name!
Darby died of old age on January 3rd, 2009. He had lived a long and happy life.