Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

A Salute to Tristan Wirfs' Cat, the NFL Draft's Lone Feline

Illustration for article titled A Salute to Tristan Wirfs' Cat, the NFL Draft's Lone Feline

It had been inevitable, since the announcement of the broadcast format for this year’s NFL Draft, that dogs, the plodding, attention-starved beasts they are, would be front and center in a sizable chunk of live-streamed homes.

And it was so.

Dogs patrolled living rooms with impunity. A solid meme was born of a cameo from Bill Belichick’s pup, an Alaskan Klee Kai, Nike — the name either a reference to the Greek goddess of victory, or the apparel company whose sweatshirts the coach so loves to maim.


Dogs all over the place.

Stepping over players and their parents.

In war rooms.

Interrupting talking heads mid-babble. (Have four dogs ever appeared simultaneously on “Around the Horn”?)

Dogs, because nature rewards blind enthusiasm, got all the attention. Reporters were quick to claim — without evidence — that each dog was “ten out of ten” and “very good.”

But alone, atop a couch in Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs’ living room, amid a sea of virtual slobber and media apologetics, sat one stolid little fellow.


The Wirfs’ family cat, unlike its canine counterparts, seemed somehow aware that nearly 16 million people were watching. But it didn’t seem to mind at all, switching between happy-time naps and casual vigilance with an unrivaled telegenic presence.

The cat exuded poise even as Wirfs, the Tampa-bound big man, learned he’d been taken with the 13th overall pick.


While dogs’ draft-night webcam appearances consisted mostly of ambling through shots and eyeballing food, Wirfs’ cat stuck it out with a suaveness and resolve that has gone tragically underreported.

You, kitty, were the star of the show. Don’t let these so-called journalists tell you otherwise.

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