Category: Hero Cats

‘Wonder Cat’ Survives 6 Weeks Trapped In Box Spring

An Illinois family has been reunited with their cat after the resilient feline survived six weeks trapped in a box spring that was wrapped in heavy-duty plastic for shipping.

The Gaines family was moving from Fresno, Calif. to Charleston, Ill. and was packing up, with movers picking up their furniture and belongings on Sept. 22. The family’s cat, Sadie, went missing and the family thought the worst.

“She’s outside a lot during the day. She always comes in the house at night, but she didn’t show up, and it’s common for the coyotes to get the pets,” Mike Gaines told WCIA, a local CBS affiliate. “So, we figured she got taken by a coyote because she always comes home.”

Instead, Sadie was likely spooked by the commotion, the strange people in her home and the stress of seeing her familiar life upended, and found a way to burrow inside the box spring to hide.

In normal times Sadie’s ordeal would have lasted a few days, maybe a week tops, but because transportation companies are hurting for truck drivers, the Gaines’ furniture was put in a storage unit in Sacramento until it could be moved cross country.

“So, it sat there from September 22nd to November 3rd. So, several weeks with Sadie, the wonder cat locked in the box springs,” Mike Gaines said. “No food, no water, no sunlight, no nothing.”

On Nov. 7 the Gaines’ furniture arrived, and after more than 46 days Sadie was freed when Gaines’ daughter found her.

“She hollered dad, there’s something dead in the box springs it stinks,” Gaines said. “So, I came down here, and on my way down the stairs she said there’s a rat in there. She just saw her little ears and thought it was rat, but it wasn’t. I came down and looked in there and it was Sadie. She was sitting there looking up at me.”

The little survivor lost a whopping seven pounds, which is a huge deal for a cat. Most domestic house cats weigh about 10 pounds. Gaines said she went limp in his hands when he lifted her out of the box spring, and endured a vet visit. The veterinarian said the silver tabby was lucky to be alive, and didn’t suffer any injuries or ailments aside from obvious malnutrition and dehydration. It’s not clear if there were any perforations in the plastic around the box spring. Perhaps little Sadie caught herself a mouse or two to tide her over.

I think I’ll show this to Bud the next time he puts on a Shakespearean performance while trying to convince me he’s starving after two hours without a meal, although with the way he shrieks for food and yaps constantly, it’s difficult to imagine he’d get trapped in a piece of furniture without the entire block knowing about it.

Stray’s Feline Protagonist Is Picture Perfect

Determined to get inside an apartment, the ginger tabby leaps onto the ledge of an air conditioner unit, then onto the roof, where he drags a piece of debris to the edge, swipes it off and watches it shatter a skylight.

Boom. Kitty door created!

The scene isn’t part of a Youtube video or a documentary about smart cats, it’s a gameplay sequence from the upcoming Stray, a game in which the protagonist is a lost cat who’s been separated from his family and dropped into an eerie, near-future Hong Kong.

The overlap (or Reuleaux triangle) in a Venn diagram of gamers and cat-lovers is pretty sizable, and for that enthusiastic cross-section, there’s no game more highly anticipated than Stray.

Stray
Our hero gets his sustenance from bowls, needs to pause for a scratch every once in a while, and likes to rub against the legs of friendly characters he meets.

Previously we’d seen a short trailer and still screenshots, and now a video from the developers shows off more than four minutes of glorious game footage following the feline protagonist as he explores Hong Kong’s streets, back alleys and noodle shops.

The developers are clearly cat lovers: The kitty hero of Stray moves with the grace, energy and caution of a real domestic feline, and the game forces players to tackle obstacles and challenges the way a cat would. The protagonist cat gains access to a vent shaft, for example, by swiping a coffee mug into fan blades to get them to stop spinning. In another scene, the cat is startled, jumps a full pace back and lands on all fours in a way only cats can.

Everything from gait to reactions is perfectly cat-like. In the opening moments, our kitty hero is clearly injured, nursing one of his back legs as he hobbles down an alley. In a later scene he bats curiously at a drone the way a house cat would with a new toy.

There are no magic abilities or impossible inventories here: As the player, you can only do things a cat can do in real life, although you’re given a boost later on when a friendly character equips you with a harness on which B12, the above-mentioned drone, can dock. B12 can interact with man-made inventions, understand your cat’s intentions and facilitate rudimentary communication.

If, for example, your kitty character is dehydrated and stops to paw at a vending machine, B12 can send a signal to the machine, order it to dispense a beverage, then open it for the adventurous cat. B12 also helps your catagonist fight off enemies. By flashing a purple light at hostile machines, for example, the little drone can render them harmless and deactivate them.

Ultimately, though, the game designers want you to think in cat terms to make your way through the game world, and that means considering feline physiology when encountering obstacles, and feline psychology when trying to solve puzzles.

Stray
“A new toy?!” Stray’s hero cat is curious as he meets B-12 for the first time.

The project’s lead designers are both industry veterans who decided to strike out on their own by forming an independent studio after years of working for UbiSoft, the game industry giant known for game franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Watch_Dogs. Like those games, Stray gives players the opportunity to explore a highly detailed open world.

“Our goal is to create a unique experience playing as a cat. We are inspired everyday by Murtaugh and Riggs, our two cats,” creative director Viv said. “Most of the team are cat owners as well, giving us all a lot of helpful first-hand references. Cats are always so playful, cute and lovingly annoying that it’s an endless stream of gameplay ideas for us.”

Stray_gameplay

For the game’s atmosphere, the creators were inspired by Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, a former military fortress that became a slum in the days of British-ruled Hong Kong, with Chinese triad gangs serving as de facto authorities in the lawless zone. Today, the former Kowloon Walled City is a park.

“It is also a very unique point of view for an adventure game. Exploring the strange world we are building feels really fresh when you’re sneaking under a car, or walking the rooftops with the inhabitants below unaware of your presence. Or if you want them to be aware, you can just meow endlessly to annoy them.”

Stray was originally slated for a late 2021 release, but it’s looking more likely that we won’t see it until the first quarter of 2022. Given the recent history of highly anticipated and rushed projects like Cyberpunk 2077, few gamers would begrudge a development team taking its time and getting things right rather than going into a months-long crunch period to meet a holiday deadline. Good things come to those who wait, especially in the complex world of game development.

What Was Buddy Doing In Canada?!

Dear Buddy,

I saw the amazing footage of you chasing a coyote out of a parking lot in British Columbia a few days ago. What were you doing in Canada?

Aboot in Alberta


Dear Aboot,

Quite a few cities are reaching out to me for help these days. You might say I’m like a superhero, responding to distress calls to save the day.

As you know, I was at the head of a 1,000-cat-strong army in Chicago recently, tasked with using my brave legion to save the Windy City from an epidemic of rats. Normally the sight of me and my huge muscles is enough to send rats scurrying for whatever dank and disgusting places they’ve emerged from, but Chicago has a lot of rats. Like millions. That’s too many, even for me.

After conquering the rodential scourge of Chicago, I saw the Cat Signal illuminating the night sky, beamed from a town called Port Moody in the Vancouver metro area.

After flying there and making my entrance with a superhero landing to thunderous applause from the gathered townspeople, I was informed that coyotes were disturbing the peace.

“Please, Buddy,” the townspeople begged. “You’re our only hope.”

buddycoyote
A coyote is a blur, left, as it races to get away from Buddy, right.

Never one to deny people in need, I met the coyotes full on.

“This town is now under the protection of the Buddesian Tiger,” I told the coyotes. “You shall not pass!”

What you saw was the tail end of the clip, after I defeated a small army of coyotes and was chasing the stragglers out of the parking lot. The police clapped when it was over, and the mayor gave me a key to the city and an entire roast turkey!

So yeah, that’s what I was doing in Canada.

Your friend,

Buddy the Cat

Image credit: HeroMachine

The Easter Buddy Wishes You A Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the Easter Buddy! Bud and I wish our readers a happy, safe and relaxing Easter, socially distanced though it may be. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a return to some semblance of normality later this year.

In the meantime, though, our little buddies have helped us get through these dark months, entertaining us and keeping us company through the initial wave of the pandemic, the lockdowns and the long winter.

Could you imagine the past year without your cats? We can’t. Make sure to thank your own little buddies for being there for you during this pandemic!

easterbuddy