You’ve got a dilemma, one that has tormented many a vegan before you.
While you’ve joined the ranks of the enlightened and meat-free, you also have a cat…and your cat eats meat.
Your vegan side urges you to put kitty on a strict plant-based kibble regimen. Your rational side reminds you she depends on you and cutting meat from her diet will seriously harm her.
Cats may be obligate carnivores, but how can you admonish the meat-eating savages of humankind when your four-legged friend gobbles down chicken and turkey flesh every day?
Fear not, vegan friends, for a genuine solution is upon us! I present to you Buddy’s Old-Fashioned Meat-Based Vegan Cat Food. It’s vegan with meat added, meaning kitty gets all the nutrients she needs for a healthy, happy life while you get to tell everyone that you AND your cat are vegans.
After all, what is the purpose of veganism if you can’t tell everyone you meet that you’re a vegan?
Buddy’s Old-Fashioned Meat-Based Vegan Cat Food, available wherever fine cat foods are sold.
Mikhail Galin loves his cat Viktor, that’s for sure.
The 34-year-old Russian and his feline flew from Riga, the capital of Latvia, to Moscow without any incident on Nov. 6, but when Galin checked in for an 8.5-hour flight to his destination in Vladivostok, he was told Viktor was too fat to fly in the cabin.
Officials from Aeroflot — Russian Airlines — told Galin there was an 18-pound limit for companion animals checked into the cabin, and at 22 pounds, the chonktacular Viktor was just too much chonk to hang with his human in business class. Instead, Viktor would have to tough out the long flight in cargo.
But Viktor was already stressed from traveling, and Galin wouldn’t take the flight without the cat by his side.
“I was very worried that during the duration of an eight-hour flight, something would happen to him in the cargo and he wouldn’t survive the trip,” Galin told the Washington Post.
When he couldn’t persuade Aeroflot to let him board with Viktor, Galin turned to social media for help and found a couple sympathetic to his cause. Their cat, Phoebe, looked like a miniature Viktor.
Galin booked a business class ticket, met up with the couple at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, and presented Phoebe as the cat he was taking with him on the flight. After airline employees weighed Phoebe and waved Galin forward, he and his new friends switched Viktor back in for his smaller body double and parted ways.
The plan worked beautifully and Galin would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t celebrated the successful swap on social media. He couldn’t resist the temptation and posted photos of Viktor on the flight: One shows the chubby cat peeking out of his carrier next to a glass of champagne, while another shot has Viktor in Galin’s lap, man helping cat enjoy a bird’s eye view.
The post went viral, an unamused Aeroflot got wind of it, and after an investigation the company docked Galin almost 400,000 frequent flier miles, his entire stash. It also booted him from its bonus miles program entirely.
“The law is harsh, but it is the law,” Galin told NBC News, repeating a stoic Russian maxim about punishment. “I violated the rules, and the carrier has every right to take action.”
Thankfully the result wasn’t all bad and Galin was rewarded for his loyalty to his cat. He told the Post several cat food companies had offered a year’s worth of food free for the flabby feline, and other transportation companies offered free use of their services.
While one politician called for Aeroflot to relax its rules on pet weight, the government wisely stayed out of kitty affairs.
“I don’t believe the Kremlin can or should comment on a situation involving a cat,” a spokesman for Vladimir Putin deadpanned.
As for Viktor, he’s made it clear he expects the same level of comfort next time he flies.
“He liked business class a lot better than economy class,” Galin said, “because he considered himself superior.”
It’s been two days since a black cat briefly halted play by dashing onto the field during a nationally-televised football game between the Cowboys and the Giants, and now people are blaming the cat for the Giants’ loss.
Sportswriters are leading the charge, writing about hexes and omens and jinxes, and dusting off the cat puns as fans share memes about the kitty’s dark powers of suckage. It’s a “cat-tastrophe!” Har har!
We’re here to state the obvious: The New York Giants suck regardless of the black cat. They sucked before the cat appeared, they sucked during the game, and they’ll continue to suck for the seven remaining games of the season.
You could say they’ve elevated it to an art, registering losing records in six of the last seven seasons.
On Monday night the Giants took a drubbing, losing to the mediocre Dallas Cowboys 38-17 at home and lowering their season record to 2-7. The cat’s break for freedom was the most exciting play of the game.
In other words, the cat wasn’t the cause of the losing, he was a symptom — horrified by his team’s play, he took flight and was desperately trying to find a way out of the stadium. We’re sure of it!
In the meantime, stadium staff still haven’t found the freaked-out feline, and while an anonymous team employee says there are some 300 cats living in and around the stadium, a team spokesperson says that number is closer to 30, according to the New York Post.
Some of the cats live in the bowels of MetLife Stadium while others live on the grounds of the adjoining Meadowlands race track. They’re descended from cats brought in “decades ago” to tackle a rat problem at the track and in the tunnels connecting the facilities, according to the Bergen Record.
The stadium’s owners pay to keep the cats fed and spayed/neutered, per newspaper reports, while staff at the complex care for the animals. Good on them.
Now the Giants look ahead to Sunday’s match-up with the Jets in an event affectionately referred to as the Toilet Bowl. The two New York teams are a combined 3-14 this year, but fear not — as they go head-to-head, one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win!
Whenever I look at photos of Baby Buddy, I try to remind myself there was a whole lot of crazy that came with the cute.
The surreptitious pooping underneath my bed. The relentless nightly war waged against my ankles and feet. The incessant meowing as if he’d reconciled classical and quantum physics and needed to tell me all about it right this very instant.
Actually he hasn’t quite given up that last hobby. He still tackles weighty subjects in minutes-long soliloquies delivered in meow, but he’s generally less insistent unless the topic involves food.
One of my fondest memories of Baby Bud involves that hyper talkativeness combined with boundless kitten energy and Buddy’s unique brand of crazy.
It started with bedtime. I was settling in for sleep and Bud was making it clear he would have none of it. So I sighed, making sure my feet were fully wrapped in the armor of a blanket to render kitten claws and teeth ineffective.
One of his favorite moves as a kitten was to wait until I was falling asleep, my heart rate slowing, before going kamikaze on my feet. He’d listen for the first snore, chomp down on my toes and gleefully flee before I realized what was happening, happily trilling and chirping after another successful ambush.
This time Buddy had something else in mind. As soon as the lights were off and I was settled in bed, he took off like the Roadrunner, ricocheting off the walls and yelling out “BRRRRRRUUUPPP!!!! BRRRRRRUUUPPP!!!” as he pinballed around the room.
This went on for several minutes until, without warning, Buddy skidded to a halt on my back, meowed the kitten equivalent of “OH YEAH!” and collapsed on top of me with an epic sigh of contentment. He was asleep within seconds.
I can’t do justice in words to how funny it was, except to say I was laying there belly-laughing with my kitten on top of me, afraid I was going to wake him up.
At the time it was also validation. This kitten was my first-ever pet, and he was clearly a happy little dude. That made me happy too.
I miss Baby Buddy, but I love adult Buddy even more precisely because I have more memories like this one to fondly look back on…and because adult Buddy mercifully doesn’t treat my feet like scratching posts when I’m asleep!
Buddy is my little helper this Halloween, as he is every year.
When the doorbell rings he runs excitedly over to the door like a dog, looking back at me like “Come on, dude! People are here! Open the door and give them candy!”
The kids love him.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” one little girl, dressed as a Disney princess, exclaimed just a few minutes ago.
“Look! A kitty cat!” another said, pointing happily.
Unfortunately Buddy will not wear his costume. Maybe that’s for the best, since he could be accused of cultural appropriation. Can cats appropriate culture?
It was all I could do to get that grainy, poorly-lit iPhone photo above. Sorry! The little dude doesn’t like collars, clothes, costumes or anything else on his body. Not even snacks can bribe him.
I couldn’t get the hat to stay on his head more than a few seconds, and he’s a little escape artist with the poncho. There was no way he would have sat like that long enough for me to get a shot with the Canon, unfortunately.
But he is a good little helper with the trick-or-treaters, and later tonight he’ll nap in my lap as I curse myself for eating too many leftover Twix and Snickers. He’s my buddy!
Felines are a traditionally misunderstood lot, but no one gets it worse than black cats.
The poor little furballs are much less likely to find forever homes because of superstitions that won’t die, including claims that black cats are bad luck or agents of the devil.
While today is National Black Cat Day, many shelters across the US won’t adopt black cats out around Halloween, and sometimes for the entire month of October. The temporary moratorium is for the safety of black cats, who are much likely to be abducted, abused, killed or ritually sacrificed this time of year, according to animal welfare groups.
As if black cats didn’t have it bad enough, the age of social media has given people another reason to avoid black cats, this time for the most vapid of reasons: They supposedly don’t look good in selfies and Instagram shots.
Christine Bayka, who founded a rescue shelter more than two decades ago, tells the Telegraph that potential adoptees admit they’re passing on black cats for that reason.
“It happens all the time, I will go through all the questions and say ‘are you flexible about colour?'” Bayka said. “Then they will say, ‘Yes, as long as it’s not black.'”
As usual the fault lies with humans, not cats: If you can’t take a decent shot of a black cat it’s because you don’t know how to use your camera, not because the cat is impossible to photograph properly. After all, we never hear of nature photographers passing up opportunities to snap melanistic jaguars because it’s too difficult.
I’m not asking because I think cats are locked in an eternal good-vs-evil struggle between their deity, the God of Napping, and the evil forces of the Red Dot. We’re all well aware of that.
I’m asking because, well, my cat prays. He eases onto his hind legs, sits straight up, puts his paws together and gestures as if in fervent prayer, just like this guy:
Or this marbled tabby apparently in the middle of her evening vespers to the God of Yums, that from which all sustenance seems to come. The fridge.
And finally this kitty, who baffles his owners as he stands up, presses his paws together and shows excellent prayer form:
Buddy has some bizarre and amusing moves in his repertoire of feline quirks, but the “praying” thing is the one behavior I haven’t come close to decoding. I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw the little guy doing it one day when he was just a few months old.
First thing’s first: No one seriously believes cats are praying or know what prayer is, so I just wanted to get that disclaimer out of the way before my inbox gets flooded with variations of “HAHA U MORAN CAT’S CANT PRAY LOLZ”
Some people think the motion looks more like a begging gesture. Cats are asking for something when they do it, proponents of the begging theory argue.
I think we can rule that out. I’ve heard owners of other “praying” cats say their furry lieges wave their paws like that in various situations, and that’s been my observation as well. Bud does it randomly, and I’ve seen him do it while he was unaware of my presence. He couldn’t have been asking for anything.
There’s no research on this behavior and there’s virtually nothing about it on the web aside from a handful of Youtube videos.
Maybe it feels like stretching or provides some other form of muscle relief. Maybe it’s a cat’s way of limbering up. Maybe it’s an indication of a cat’s mind state, the same way relaxed ears and an upright tail indicate kitty’s happy and relaxed. Or maybe it’s a form of self-soothing for anxiety.
Those are all guesses, and none of them feel quite right. So help a dedicated cat servant out: What’s your take on this behavior, and what prompts cats to do it?
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.