Category: cat stories

Sunday Cats: Hoarders In Buddyland, Alleged Dallas Zoo Thief Nabbed, P-22 Remembered

When police went to a Yorktown, NY, home for a welfare check this week, the last thing they expected was to find an army of cats.

The responding officers breached the home when no one answered, finding an elderly couple deceased inside, along with some 150 hungry, neglected cats. Police don’t believe there was foul play in the death of the couple, but the number of cats and the condition of the home have “hindered” their investigation.

The Westchester County SPCA is taking on the monumental task of collecting the cats, giving each of them veterinary care and finding homes for them. Staff there are calling it the largest single rescue in their history, and they’d already filled their own facilities and local shelters to capacity by the time they’d rescued 100 of the famished felines, leaving them scrambling for room to place the others. Some have upper respiratory, eye and skin infections, the SPCA said, while most of the cats were malnourished and dehydrated.

Despite living in conditions police described as “filth and squalor,” the cats are well-socialized and friendly, rescuers say. They believe the husband and wife may have been Abyssinian breeders at some point.

“It’s very unusual in a case like this, especially with that number of cats, for them to be as social and sweet as they are, usually they are scared when they come from a situation like this because they haven’t had a lot of human interaction,” the SPCA of Westchester’s Lisa Bonnano told the New York Post.

Yorktown is about 28 miles north of Casa Buddy, and we can vouch for the excellent work done by the Westchester County SPCA, whose veterinarians gave kitten Buddy his first shots and gave him the snip.

Veterinary costs alone are expected to exceed $40,000, so if you’d like to help, you can make a donation here.

Alleged Dallas Zoo thief nabbed

When 24-year-old Davion Irvin stopped an employee at the Dallas World Aquarium to ask about exotic animals there, the staffer recognized him as the same man pictured in a surveillance still from the Dallas Zoo.

Police released the image to the public after three separate enclosures at the zoo were breached, leading to the brief disappearance of a spotted leopard on Jan. 13 and the theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys about two weeks later. The langur monkey exhibit was also breached, but the animals were not removed.

After the aquarium’s staff tipped them off, cops caught up to Irvin a few miles away and have since linked him to all three break-ins. They charged him with two counts of burglary — for the monkeys and the leopard — and six counts of animal cruelty. They’re also looking into whether Irvin may have been involved with the “very suspicious” death of an endangered lappet-faced vulture on Jan. 21.

Cops, who initially suspected the thief was looking for exotic animals to breed or sell, have said Irvin hasn’t told them why he wanted the primates and the medium size cats. Their investigation is ongoing.

Thousands say goodbye to P-22

More than six thousand people crowded into The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday to say goodbye to P-22, the Hollywood Lion, a puma who made the hills above the city his home for more than a decade.

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One of several new murals of beloved mountain lion P-22, who was euthanized in December after he was hit by a car and suffering from an infection.

People spoke about seeing his curious face pop up on their doorball cameras, spotting him disappearing into the trees in Griffith Park, and how his presence piqued the curiosity of many people who took the time to learn more about mountain lions.

But the unofficial theme of the event was how P-22 showed people humans and wildlife can co-exist, and how our species can do a lot more to make sure the animals we share the Earth with will survive in the future. One woman told LAist that before she learned about P-22, she “used to think they were scary” and aggressive like the big cats they’re often confused with.

Others said he inspired them to get directly involved with conservation efforts.

“We are wildlife. We are creatures of nature, just as all the animals and plants are,” archaeologist Desireé Martinez, a member of the indigenous Gabrielino-Tongva tribe, told KTLA. “What can we do to make sure that the creatures that we are sharing this nature with have the ability to survive and live on — just like us?”

P-22’s unforgettable visage, already familiar to Los Angelinos, is now ubiquitous in his former range, with several murals adorning the sides of buildings and other displays bearing his image.

“He inspired so much happiness. I mean, look at all the people that are here,” Babetta Gonzalez told LAist. “We have to remember that we are in their neighborhood and we need to respect their environment. We have integrated, but we could do a lot better.”

P-22, ‘A Celebration of Life’ To Live Stream On Feb. 4

You don’t often hear about public memorials for cats, let alone thousands of people participating in them, but the fact that tickets were gone for P-22’s “Celebration of Life” within three hours speaks to the special place the mountain lion had in the hearts of Californians.

The famous puma, who was euthanized in December after he was suffering from an infection and was hit by a car, called Los Angeles’ Griffith Park home, and that’s where the celebration will be held at noon Pacific (3 pm Eastern) on Feb. 4. It’ll be held at The Greek, the outdoor amphitheater more commonly associated with rock stars, although one could argue P-22 was a rock star in his own right.

P-22 was the subject of books, movies and music festivals during his 12-year life, and his face adorned t-shirts, murals and street signs asking people to be careful while driving around the Griffith Park area, where the big guy ranged. He was the most famous mountain lion in an ongoing study of his species, and was easily identified by the radio collar around his neck.

P-22’s “origin story” was equally fascinating. Born in southern California in 2010 or 2011, the fearless puma migrated north, crossing several of the busiest and most dangerous highways in the world before he settled in Los Angeles. His nine-mile home range was the smallest ever recorded for a member of his species.

Bookmark this link or this alternate to livestream the event, which is set to include music, performances and remembrances from Los Angelinos and celebrities who loved the “Hollywood Lion.”

Separately, there’s an effort to honor the late puma with postage stamps featuring his famously derpy visage.

Top image credit Miguel Ordeñana/Natural History Museum. Bottom image credit Steve Winter.

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Steve Winter’s iconic photo of P-22 prowling in front of the Hollywood sign.

Sunday Cats: Maine Coon Kitten Is The Size Of 4 Buddies

Meet Kusa, an absurdly large Maine Coon.

Of course you’ve seen huge Maine Coons before, so what’s special about Kusa? Aside from being a stunning white-furred beast of a cat, the big guy is still a kitten! At nine months old, Kusa could make a light snack of most felines. And because Maine Coons continue to grow until they’re three years old or even past that age, Kusa could have a legitimate crack at being the biggest domestic cat in the world, in addition to scaring the pants off unsuspecting pedestrians if his people take him out for a stroll.

Here’s Kusa as a baby:

And here’s Kusa now:

Kusa lives with his human, Chastity Hobbs, in Phoenix, Arizona. She says one of the biggest challenges was finding a litter box big enough to accommodate him. She may have to swap it out for an even bigger one before long.

“People are amazed when they see him,” Hobbs said. “They always think that he’s crossed with a bobcat or something.”

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Maine Coons are known as gentle giants and tend to be relaxed compared to most cats. Credit: Chastity Hobbs/Instagram

Bruno gets a new home

Bruno the Cat has had a tough run early in life through no fault of his own.

The first time he was adopted all seemed well until one of his family’s children appeared to have a cat allergy, so the little guy was brought back to the shelter. But he was still young and very cute, so it wasn’t long before another family brought him home during the pandemic.

Unbelievably that family returned Bruno because he was “too affectionate.” Their definition of “too affectionate”? Little Bruno liked to head bunt the mother while she was working from home and he liked to sleep in bed with her daughter. The mother didn’t like the fact that her daughter was staying up late to play with Bruno, so back he went to the shelter.

Bruno’s story went viral when Montville Animal Shelter of New Jersey posted about his plight and included a photo of him looking depressed. Who wouldn’t be if they thought they’d found their forever home twice, only to be rejected for being a snugly, happy cat?

The Facebook post amassed more than 200,000 views and hundreds of comments, leading to more than 50 applications to adopt Bruno, Montville Animal Shelter’s Lindsay Persico told USA Today. It was also a boon for the shelter’s other animals.

“People were coming to our door to meet Bruno and we got almost all the cats in the store adopted in the meantime,” Persico said.

Let’s hope the third time’s a charm for dear Bruno and he really has found his forever home. He deserves it.

Catstronauts: Buddy Leads Exploratory Expedition To Epsilon Eridani

STAR COMMANDER BUDDY’S LOG, STARDATE 12142022, Aboard the USS Fowl Play

Lt. Commander Freddie Ferocious has command of the bridge while I’ve retired to my ready room for the important task of answering video messages from kittens in Mrs. Meowmore’s Kittengarden class.

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Lt. Commander Freddie Ferocious, executive officer of the USS Fowl Play.
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Star Commander Buddy, commanding officer of the USS Fowl Play.

Myles, a three-month-old tuxedo who wants to be a catstronaut when he grows up, has asked me how catstronauts eat and use the litter box in zero gravity.

“Well, Myles,” I tell him, “as you may have guessed, regular litter is no good without gravity! You can’t bury your business, obviously, and you run the risk of free-floating poops and granules of litter escaping into the ship’s habitable areas, so a litter box is out of the question. That is why we have a sealed Litter Chamber and a special suction device. It takes some getting used to, especially since it tends to pull on your fur while you’re doing your business!”

Sophia, a five-month-old Calico, asks us what we eat in space.

“This morning at 0100 hours I was informed that our food replicators are malfunctioning, which means the entire crew has had to make do with freeze-dried kibble and pate MREs. No wonder we’re all so cranky! I have ordered the engineering department to devote all available resources and catpower toward the repair of the replicators. This simply cannot be allowed to go unresolved, for a cranky crew can easily become a mewtinous one, and I don’t want to have to start spacing kitties out of the airlock. Er, I mean throwing ’em in the brig! Chief Engineer Meowdi LaForge tells me the replicators should be back online by breakfast.”

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Chief Engineer Meowdi LaForge

Simba, three and a half months, asks: “Dear Commander Buddy, how far are you from the place you’re traveling to, and what will you do when you get there? Is it true there might be monsters? That would be scary!”

“Thanks for writing, Simba! It’s 10.47 light years to the Epsilon Eridani star system, which is a long ride! Fortunately the USS Fowl Play is a pretty big, comfortable ship, with lots of stuff to do to keep her running, and some pretty cool options for entertainment and R&R when we’re off duty. We’re less than two light years away from our destination now, which means the Fowl Play has already flipped and is engaged in a prolonged deceleration burn. We have to do that, see, so we don’t sail right on past Epsilon Eridani!

“Where did you hear about the thing with the monsters? It’s not true, okay? I don’t know what anyone told you, probably that jealous jerk Commander Calvin, but I totally did not run screaming from a monster during the expedition to Luyten 726-8, okay? That’s fake news!

“What happened was, I saw the monster and issued a blood-curdling battle cry, but then I hit the wrong button on my Planetary CatRover, which caused it to spin around and run in the other direction. I was trying to inspire my team, not abandon them. I would have turned around and battled the monster too, except by the time I realized my mistake I was already more than half way back to the lander and the others had scared the monster away with their laser pointers.”

That’s my rover on the left, and the Scary Monster on the right. As you can see, I’m very brave for facing the Scary Monster:

Five-month-old Pepper asks: “Star Commander Buddy, do you think smart aliens are out there? What do they look like? Will they be nice when you meet them?”

“Hi, Pepper! Those are good questions. Well we should remember that we cats are not only a super intelligent species, but we are intimidating too! We have sharp teeth and claws, some of us can roar, and we look really strong and tough! So maybe the aliens will be scared of us!

“I think there will be smart aliens even though we haven’t found other intelligent life on Earth. I mean, there’s humans, but they’re simple-minded creatures, aren’t they? That’s why they’re our servants! LOL! Maybe the aliens will only have fur on their heads like humans. Maybe they’ll look like dogs. Gross, I know! Or maybe they’ll look like a cross between elephants, manta rays and aardvarks.

“We just don’t know, which is why we’re trying to find out. Picture it: Star Commander Buddy, fearlessly leading the first expedition to make contact with smart aliens. It’ll be pretty cool to be in the history books. Tell ya what, Pepper. If we find smart aliens, you and the rest of Mrs. Meowmore’s class will be the first to know. After NASA, of course. We’ll send you pictures. Deal?”

Catstronauts!
Lt. Loki pilots our lander, and he’s a good example of how intimidating our species can look! Will aliens be scared of him?

 

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Vice Admiral Yo’oko Nahsuareo. Did you know jaguars make up only 4% of the Catstronaut Corps? They are usually sleep specialists, designing cryosleep pods for space travel and constantly improving comfortable napping spots on our ships.

 

SUNDAY CATS: Mountain Lion Scared Off By Buddy Look-Alike, Bodega Cat ‘Bridget Moynahan’ Goes Missing

A mountain lion got more than it bargained for when it found itself face to face with a ferocious furball last week.

The puma was taking a breather near a home on Jan. 5 when it turned, realizing there was a pair of eyes watching it. Those eyes belonged to the resident cat, a 13-year-old moggie who was not pleased to see a wild intruder in its territory.

The puma initially squared off on the other side of a sliding glass door as if saying “You want some of this?” but seemed shocked when the domestic cat, rather than backing down, launched into a series of feints and yowls.

The puma flinched a few times, then decided to vacate the premises.

Clearly, the wild cat found itself wondering about the identity of the tabby.

“Is that Buddy the Cat? Oh crap! If it’s him, I’m in trouble! They say he has huge meowscles and is a master of 36 styles of Kung Fu!”

Bridget Moynahan joins the search for Bridget Moynahan

Blue Bloods actress Bridget Moynahan gave a boost to the search for a missing cat bearing her name.

The 51-year-old actress lent her star power to the search by posting about it on Instagram, where she has 345,000 followers.

The missing kitty belongs to the owner of a Manhattan bodega, and spends her days napping on the shelves and being admired by customers.

There are an estimated 10,000 bodegas in New York City, where traditional grocery stores don’t really fit into an urban lifestyle where most people don’t own cars and can’t load up two weeks’ worth of groceries in a minivan.

To keep mice and rats at bay, most of New York’s bodegas have cats. They’re technically illegal, but because having a cat in the store carries the same $300 penalty as having rodents, bodega owners opt for the former. The cats are beloved by New Yorkers, and the city is mostly content to overlook their presence unless there are major health violations.

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Get the Army Corps of Engineers 2023 Cat Calendar for free

If you still haven’t picked up a calendar for the New Year, the Army Corps of Engineers has got you covered.

Their 2023 Cat Calendar features magnificent moggies in giant form, scratching, lounging and napping on ships, jetties, dams and dredges.

Click here to download the printable PDF of the calendar.