Balboa the Boxing Cat
Once a stray, this cat came to prominence in late 2020 when an adorable video clip of him boxing an off-screen antagonist was uploaded to the World Wide Web by the Washington, DC shelter which was seeking a forever home for the animal.
The resulting Internet meme—in which the original video is edited to make it look like Balboa is knocking out the leader of the Third Reich, the 45th President of the United States, or another notable fascist—has made Balboa a household name.
In early 2021, Balboa made headlines again when an unhinged supporter of the aforementioned President attempted to set the shelter ablaze during his compatriots’ assault on the United States Capitol in the aforementioned city of Washington. Fortunately for Balboa and all of the other abandoned animals taking refuge at the shelter at that time, the cruel dolt who attacked them couldn’t get a match lit before he was tackled by shelter security.
Shelter security, in this case, being a ninety-pound asthmatic teenager tasked by his mother to watch the door.
Little is known of Balboa’s life before he was found on the street and brought to the shelter that would make him famous—not even his original name. The cat was re-christened Balboa after the fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, the titular character of the Rocky film franchise. This was because of his predilection toward standing on his hind legs and playfully “boxing” his caretakers.
While the release of the initial “Balboa boxing” video garnered the attention of several prospective adoptive families, threats from far-right groups online—over the subsequent “Balboa K.O.s Drumpf” remix and its insinuation that the President was a fascist—eventually led to all interested parties withdrawing their applications. As such, Balboa is still up for adoption as of January 9, 2021.