As readers of PITB know, I have first-hand experience with taking care of a massive beast of a cat, with Buddy weighing in at a jaw-dropping 10 pounds, most of it pure meowscle of course.
That means I can sympathize with Russian one-percenter Yulia Minina, who bought a Maine Coon kitten less than two years ago only to see him balloon into an almost 30-pound behemoth — and he’s still growing!
Visitors often mistake Kefir for a large dog at first, Minina said, but the Maine Coon is the kind of gentle giant typical of his species and acts more like “a very affectionate and modest child.”
“When friends and acquaintances come to the house, all the attention is on him and he willingly allows himself to be stroked,” Minina told the UK’s South West News Service.
While most cats are just about their full size after a year, Maine Coons can continue to grow until after their second birthdays. (There’s no evidence that they continue to grow until they’re 5 years old despite claims online, mostly from breeder sites.) That means Kefir, who already looks like a robust lynx, could end up challenging domestic cat size records if he enjoys another growth spurt.
Kefir is just starting to go viral within the past day or two, and as his Instagram follower count (7,288 as of this post) continues to tick up, so do the enquiries from people who want to buy the big guy.
“To everyone who wants to buy my cat, I answer: NOT FOR SALE!” Minina wrote in an Instagram post on Monday. “But I can give all the information about the breeder that many have asked! At the moment, 3 gorgeous snow-white blue eyes are available in the nursery age 1 month. I think you don’t need to praise their beautiful and big parents, you already know everything!”
No word yet if Minina gets a commission on successful referrals to the breeder.
In the meantime, Buddy can rest easy knowing that even if another cat rivals his huge and intimidating presence, he’s all the way in Stary Oskol, a safe 4,873 miles away.
When Venus’ human posted photos of her to Instagram, people thought the half-black, half-ginger cat was photoshopped. A video of the unique kitty debunked that rumor, showing the heterochromatic, multitone cat in all her glory. Now Venus is a star, amassing tens of millions of views on Instagram and TikTok:
Snow leopards Laila and Yarko of the UK’s Big Cat Sanctuary are the proud parents of a newborn cub, and the sanctuary wants the public to help name the little guy, whom they’re calling Little Cub in the meantime.
“He appears to be developing and growing beautifully and is becoming more active day by day. Laila is an experienced mother and is just as attentive and devoted with this little one as she has been before,” Big Cat Sanctuary curator Briony Smith wrote.
Although Little Cub was born on Sept. 15, his birth was not announced until Oct. 21 in the video below:
Tabby founders pitch to Shark Tank
Remember Tabby, the cat dating app that Bud insisted was “fake news” because he can’t even fathom the possibility of sharing his kingdom with another cat?
Somehow I don’t see Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner as cat lovers, but Mr. Wonderful strikes me as the kind of guy who has a chonkster at home and secretly dotes on her, as he doesn’t want to harm his image as a ruthless businessman. (Edit: I searched around to see if O’Leary really is a cat lover, and while he described himself as a “non-cat guy,” he reached a deal with cat DNA company basepaws back in 2019, so clearly he understands businesses related to our feline overlords are good investments.)
MATO GROSSO DO SUL, Brazil — Fisherman and naturalists working in the Pantanal have reported a strange sight in recent weeks — a domestic cat tagging along with jaguars.
The gray tabby was observed lounging on the banks of the Amazon, napping in a tree and struggling to take bites out of a caiman killed by a generous jaguar, witnesses reported.
“HQ, we’ve got something extraordinary here,” a naturalist was heard reporting over local radio channels. “A jaguarundi is — no, scratch that — a house cat! A house cat is following a group of jaguars from the river bank into the deeper jungle.”
The feline in question was identified as Buddy the Cat of New York after his concerned human reached out to local authorities and appealed to the Brazilian press for his safe return.
“He does this all the time,” the New York man, identified as Big Buddy, told an interviewer from Folha De S. Paulo. “First he broke into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and tried to get the tigers to accept him, only to be claimed as a cub by one of the tigresses. It took weeks to convince the zoo to get him out, and when I got him home I had to bathe him five times just to get the stink of tiger saliva off his fur.
“Then somehow he made his way to Tanzania, where he wandered around the Maasai Steppe for a few weeks trying to get into a lion pride. He failed miserably in that endeavor, too. Now with the jaguars. It never ends.”
The exasperated New York man claimed responsibility for his failure to keep his “ridiculous” cat from adventuring, but also blamed the transportation industry for accommodating Buddy.
“Who the hell allows an unaccompanied cat to take a bus or board an airplane?” he asked. “How did he end up in first class, sipping champagne and buzzing the stewardesses for more turkey every five minutes? I’m told he got quite drunk and threatened to become combative if he didn’t get an entire fried turkey.”
Asked why his cat was obsessed with ingratiating himself to larger cat species, Big Buddy answered without hesitation.
“He’s a dumbass,” the human said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very cute, very loving little guy, and often a good boy, but a dumbass all the same.”
Buddy’s human said the 10-pound domestic cat often tears around the house, ambushing animate and inanimate objects and practicing his roar, “but he sounds like Elmo singing a funk song in falsetto.”
As of press time, Buddy the Cat still hadn’t returned home. Jaguars are known to be extraordinarily laid back compared to other big cats, and a loosely-affiliated group of the South American apex predators seemed to tolerate the domestic kitty.
“I can’t leave now,” Buddy told reporters. “They’ve begun to accept me! It would be a violation of trust if I just left them to eat all this delicious food by themselves.”
Kinich Ahau, the local jaguar elder, said his extended family had taken a liking to Buddy.
“Have you heard of this turkey? We did not know of it. It is wondrous!” the great jaguar said. “Buddy, or Kinich Bajo as he is known to us, has also shared great wisdom in the form of new and comfortable napping techniques. On the first night, we observed him construct a soft bed of leaves for himself in the crook of a branch, and over the following suns and moons we have come to appreciate softer napping spots.”
Buddy had sparked a renaissance in jaguarian napping technique, Kinich Ahau said.
“Nobody naps like Buddy,” he said. “No one!”
With the fond support of the Amazon’s jaguars, Buddy was set to undergo an ancient shamanistic ritual involving the imbibing of Ayahuasca, a powerful psychoactive brew said to reveal cosmological secrets to those who drink it as part of a spiritual ceremony.
“We would not have invited Kinich Bajo, or Buddy as you call him, to commune with the ancient B’alam (jaguar) spirits if we did not sense a deep spirituality and wisdom inside him,” said an elder jaguar shaman named Mike the Melanistic. “He has shown us the way in matters of snacking and napping, and now as we welcome him to our ethereal fraternity, we shall accompany him on his journey to the stars, where he will drink of the deep knowledge of our ancestors.”
Buddy himself told a reporter he was looking forward to the ceremony.
“It’ll grant me, like, awesome powers and shit,” he said. “I’ll be able to disappear in a puff of mist like the jaguars do, my muscles will get bigger and, like, I’ll be able to sniff out snacks from up to a mile away. Pretty cool, if you ask me.”
At press time the jaguar shaman elders said the ceremony does not, in fact, grant such powers.
TANZANIA – A domestic house cat has been spotted living among lions in Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park, according to wildlife rangers and locals who have spotted the tiny feline sidling up to its larger brethren.
Eagle-eyed viewers identified the mysterious feline as Buddy the Cat after Dr. Olufemi Ugwemuhwem Osas, director of the Tanzanian Institute for Wildlife Studies, posted photos of the bizarre interactions on Instagram.
“That is DEFINITELY Buddy the Cat,” one reader wrote on Dr. Osas’ Instagram page. “I’d recognize that paste-eater anywhere.”
“Can confirm, that’s Bud,” another reader wrote. “But he doesn’t eat paste! Saw him in person last year and, man, he was RIPPED!”
The domestic shorthair, who was born and raised in New York, made headlines earlier this year after breaking into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and infamously failing in his attempts to gain acceptance among the big cats in that enclosure. The 10-pound house cat was mistaken for a cub by one of the tigresses in the enclosure and was subjected to two weeks’ worth of tongue baths before animal rights activists finally persuaded reluctant zookeepers to rescue the tiny tabby from his predicament.
It appears the relentless feline was trying similar tactics on the Maasai Steppe, local rangers confirmed.
“In the beginning he was wandering around aimlessly, soliciting random lions to join his ‘pride’,” said Jean Jacques Remontoire, timekeeper for the Jambo Jambo Wildlife Preserve, which offers tours on the Maasai Steppe. “He was dragging a big sack of cans behind him, offering dozens of them as a ‘signing bonus’ for lions who agreed to join him and follow him as alpha.”
After a luckless streak that lasted more than a week, the gray tabby shifted tactics, approaching existing prides when the male lions weren’t present.
“What has that guy done for you lately?” Buddy asked a pair of lionesses who seemed to tolerate him while grooming their cubs. “I mean, you do all the hunting, then you drag the kill back, and who gets to eat first? He does! It’s not fair to you. But, just so you know, if I was alpha, I’d only eat like an ounce and a half, and you’d get to feast on the rest.”
One pride, whose lionesses said they were frustrated with their pride leader, seemed to conditionally accept Buddy’s offer if he could help them defend their territory against a powerful young interloper with designs on claiming the pride for himself.
“Definitely,” Buddy told the lionesses. “That dude is as good as dead, as soon as I have my nap.”
His run as pride leader was short-lived, however, after he hid behind the legs of one of the younger lions during the confrontation with the interloper, known locally as Leonidas the Earthshaker.
Witnesses reported the dusty house cat returning to civilization on Wednesday when he appeared at the Sustainable Safari Center of the Steppe and asked to use the phone, “So I can call Big Buddy to get me a plane ticket back home.”
“I didn’t ‘fail’ in my attempts to found my own pride,” Buddy later told reporters. “In fact, I was a pride leader for three hours, 14 minutes and 37 seconds. It’s just that, as I stared into the cold eyes of Leonidas the Earthshaker, I realized violence isn’t the way. Overall I’d say this expedition was a great success and I learned a lot about my heritage.”
The Big Cat Sanctuary of Kent, UK — not to be confused with Florida’s Big Cat Rescue — is welcoming a newborn melanistic jaguar, and everyone from the vet staff to the caretakers are fussing over her.
The as-yet-unnamed baby was born to mom Keira and dad Neron in a big-cat breeding program designed to ensure the species survives as wild populations plummet due to habitat reduction and poaching. Staff at the UK sanctuary say the baby opened her eyes the day she was born and was walking by two weeks. That’s an unusually quick development for most cats, but apparently not for jaguars, who live in the deepest jungles of the Amazon.
The choices areInka (Inca) after the Inca people and their empire, Inti, a Quechuan (pre-modern Peruvian) word meaning “Sunshine,” or Killari, a word from the same language that means “Moonlight.” I’m partial to the latter, especially for the image it evokes of the world’s largest black panther — and the largest cat in the Americas — stalking the jungle on a moon-lit night.
The term “black panther” is a catch-all for any felid with melanism. Both jaguars and leopards can have the black color morph, as can domestic cats. Cats with melanism retain their spots, and if you look closely you can see they’re a shade darker than the rest of the cats’ black fur.
Check out the video below to see the little one behaving just like any other kitten.