Rally Cat won't return to Cards after public spat with nonprofit

— -- It's decided. The good-luck kitten known as Rally Cat will not be living among the birds.

The cat won't be returned to the St. Louis Cardinals following a series of catty exchanges between the team and the nonprofit responsible for its care.

Rally Cat became a sensation after it scurried onto the field during the Cardinals' game against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 9. On the next pitch, after the cat was retrieved by a groundskeeper, Yadier Molina blasted a grand slam that gave the Cardinals the lead and eventual win.

The cat went missing the next day before being found near Busch Stadium and was rescued by volunteers. What followed was a public spat of words between the Cardinals and the nonprofit St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach.

The team said the nonprofit would return the cat following a quarantine period, but the group claimed that was false and the Cardinals were using "bullying tactics." On Thursday, the attorney representing the nonprofit -- and the cat -- said there would be no agreement.

"Cat people are different human beings than the rest of us," attorney Al Watkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "They take very seriously that the best interest of the cat is being prioritized and it became clear that the Cardinals were more interested in exploiting the cat for commercial interests."

The Cardinals, who had declared Sept. 10 as Rally Cat Appreciation Day, responded with their own feline-themed statement.

"Getting straight answers from the group has been like herding cats," Cardinals vice president of communications Ron Watermon told the Dispatch. "We would dispute their version of things, but don't want to be engaged in a cat fight."

Not to be outdone, Watkins responded with one last quip, saying "nobody likes a bully in the litter box."