Murdock’s earliest days are the stuff legends are made of. Before making his way to the Dumb Friends League Buddy Center in Castle Rock, this gregarious boy spent his kittenhood underneath a house, surrounded by a slew of wild raccoons. Like most of us, Murdock’s early experiences helped shape him into the extraordinary 2-year-old he is today – a giant, Maine Coon-like cat with a personality to match.

Because raccoons had been his only companions, Murdock entered a 120-day rabies quarantine when he first arrived at the League. Extended quarantines can be difficult for many animals, but Murdock thrived from the special attention he received from our animal care associates. “Murdock was a ham,” said Kasea, his caretaker at the Buddy Center. Affectionate and playful with a “contagious” meow, he actively sought the love and care of our staff and volunteers; whenever anyone walked by his kennel, Murdock would rub against the glass to catch the person’s attention.

Admittedly, love and attention were not the only things on his mind. You see, from the first day he came to the League, Murdock was known as a bona fide foodie. “Every morning … I brought him wet food, and he knew it!” said Kasea. “If I didn’t have it ready for him right away, he [would meow and rub] on my legs.” Like all the animals in our care, Murdock’s nutritious diet was made available thanks to Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love® Program. During his stay at the Buddy Center, this food was central to his health and happiness.

Before long, everyone at the League became enamored with Murdock’s charms. Everything he did was so wonderfully exaggerated – he kneaded his bedding with vigor, he leaped to catch toys in midair, he plopped to the ground in exhaustion after a playful bout. In the company of people, he seemed to feel all the feelings – and he made sure that everyone at the Buddy Center did too.

Four months after his arrival – the very day he was released from quarantine – Murdock captivated the right person at the right time. A patron looking for a gray, long-haired kitten for her son, Cameron, felt the spark and phoned Cameron right away. “I know you want a kitten, but [Murdock’s] story is incredible!” Cameron remembers his mother telling him that day. When Cameron came to see the huge, grown-up cat in question, it was love at first sight. “He was immediately affectionate and interested in everything around him but kept coming back to rub up against us,” Cameron said. “He was absolutely awesome.”

As Cameron was finalizing the adoption process, it became clear just how fortunate he was to be bringing Murdock home. “At least seven employees asked if we were adopting him … they told us stories and seemed genuinely sad that he was leaving,” said Cameron. “He was like a celebrity.” Now aptly named Koa (Hawaiian for “fighter”), this legend is living the good life, behaving like he has always been by Cameron’s side. Ever the drama cat, Koa still has personality for days and loves to scale 8-foot cabinets for fun. But the cat who grew up wild with little to no contact with humans also loves to cuddle with his people. “He is one of the guys,” said Cameron.