Irwin the red kangaroo is a very special marsupial. Not only does he not live anywhere near Australia, he is cared for as if he were a child by his loving companion, Christie Carr. The 25-pound kangaroo is named after famed Australian animal expert, Steve Irwin, and he has been a comfort to Ms. Carr who had been suffering from severe depression.
Irwin has been partially paralyzed since he ran into a fence and fractured his neck, which caused severe brain damage. Irwin doesn’t know he isn’t a child and Ms. Carr isn’t about to tell him. He never leaves the house without first getting dressed, and rides with her in a car seat, dressed in a little boy’s shirt cut and sewn to accommodate his neck, sometimes a tie, and jeans or slacks with a hole cut for the tail. His doting caretaker never loses sight of her beloved charge.
Christie Carr is unable to work a full-time job due to health problems of her own. She adores caring for Irwin and changes his diaper three times a day. She feeds him salads and raw vegetables as well as kangaroo chow, popcorn and the occasional Cheez-Its or a handful of Cheetos.
The one-year-old marsupial never leaves Carr’s side for more than an hour, often accompanying her on errands and going out to eat. Carr’s therapist certified the animal as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It was love at first site when the two met at the animal sanctuary and the kangaroo was just a baby. Ms. Carr took Irwin home and nursed him back to health. The kangaroo cannot as yet stand or walk on his own, but he is slowly gaining mobility and under her devoted care, he is now able to hop three or four times in a row with assistance. The bond between the two is powerful and poignant.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma city officials are worried that poor Irwin could become a public safety risk and Ms. Carr is actively seeking an exemption from city council. They two have given each other a purpose in life and to separate them now seems an act of terrible cruelty. The up and coming council meeting determining the outcome is expected to overflow with supporters for Irwin and his companion.
Of Mice and Men may be an American classic tale, but Of Women and Kangaroos remains a love story yet to be written.