Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, human and feline!
Here’s my newest favorite photo of the Budster, which you guys have seen in the humor post about Buddy’s gallery exhibit at the Louvre:
This photo is so Buddy. He’s sitting in the coffee table and staring at me with that classic Buddy expression on his face, which usually means he’s waiting for me to play hunting games with him, or just to give him a few scratches on his head and tell him he’s a good boy.
This next one is a random shot, taken with my old iphone when Bud was just laying down and looking cute:
I loved the photo from the moment I snapped it, but I loved it even more when a reader saw it and remarked that it looked like the little guy was “radiating love” at me behind the camera. Either that or he’s thinking “Don’t dally, human, run and fetch my snacks!”
This one was taken outdoors on the balcony. Bud loves to soak up the sun and warmth during the spring and summer. In the natural light you can really see his coat pattern, his unbroken tabby stripes and the deep green of his eyes. In indoor artificial light, his eyes appear a different shade of green and sometimes yellow. His coat pattern also appears much more subtle under LED and incandescent lighting.
Here’s the little dude as a baby. Unfortunately I took most of his kitten photos with an old iPhone and they’re not very good.
Still, I do miss his kitten days when I look at these shots. Bud was quite a fuzzy kitten. He was a talker from the very beginning, and even if I couldn’t see him at a particular moment, I always knew where he was because I could hear him chatting away and all his exclamations as he played with plastic bottle caps or gleefully knocked things off shelves.
Buddy on a rainy day, staring out from inside the sliding glass door leading to the balcony. He looks bummed that the sun isn’t out.
More baby photos! I remember showing some of these shots to my brother when we went hiking one weekend a few weeks after I’d adopted the Budster. My brother, who should be one to talk as he dotes on his beloved dog, said: “I think you’re in love!”
You don’t wanna mess with these guns! Buddy flexing his considerable muscles.
I do have a few decent kitten photos taken with the Canon T3. This was before I took a photography course and learned how to properly use the damn thing. I like to think I’ve come a decent way since then. As in the previous kitten photo, Bud’s eyes were the familiar kitten gray before they began to turn the now-familiar deep green in adulthood.
I really like this one. There’s nothing too special about it, but the little guy is intently focused on something and looks happy.
Another one with the classic “Buddy look.” He’s a very vocal cat and was probably trilling with interest at something when I took this shot.
A fairly recent shot from the past month or two. I like this one. Buddy is very expressive, and this photo captures his whimsical look pretty well.
And finally we have Chubby Buddy pulling off a classic loaf pose and undoubtedly thinking about delicious turkey.
Your Honor, I make a meowtion to dismiss!
Americans have denied pretty much everything in courts of law over the years, but this one may be a first. After a Texas lawyer connected to a Zoom virtual civil forfeiture hearing and couldn’t figure out how to remove a filter that turned his on-screen image into that of an anthropomorphic kitten, the lawyer stated the obvious.
“I’m here live,” the attorney told the presiding judge. “I’m not a cat.”
The lawyer is Rod Ponton of Presidio, Texas, and he’s become a viral sensation.
“When I got on Zoom everything seemed fine – my picture popped up, I was in the waiting room with the judge. But when the judge called the case, I disappeared and a cat appeared instead of me to my great surprise of course,” Ponton told the BBC.
Ponton’s misadventure is relatable at a time when almost everything that doesn’t require physical presence has been moved online due to the Coronavirus, and it’s perhaps most relatable to adults who can’t figure out what their kids have done to their computers.
Ponton, it turns out, was using his secretary’s computer after her kid had been using it. Thus the kitten filter.
He told the BBC he’s trying to “roll with it” as the video racks up millions of views.
“In Texas we have a phrase that you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube,” Ponton said. “If this was going to become an internet sensation I just had to laugh at myself along with everybody else doing so.”
Make sure you’ve stocked up on snacks and beverages, because today’s the big game.
Kansas City Chiefs vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the immortal vampire Tom Brady? Nah, we’re talking about the Kitten Bowl.
Like its predecessors, this year’s Kitten Bowl uses a flimsy football pretense to air the blood pressure-reducing, relaxing spectacle of a bunch of cute kittens running around a miniature arena and chasing after balls.
The program, which is a collaboration with the North Shore Animal League, pet food brands and other organizations, also serves as a TV-show-length PSA reminding people to adopt instead of buying kittens. Come late spring/early summer, every shelter will be overflowing with kittens just like the little ones in the Kitten Bowl.
The Kitten Bowl airs at 2 p.m. Eastern on the Hallmark Channel, and you can also stream it on Hallmark’s official site.
Click the photos below for full-size versions:
One of the most compelling cat stories I’ve ever heard involved a reader of this blog, a woman who took in a white stray she named Snowy.
Snowy was a street cat who was always with a male cat, and the woman fed them both whenever they came by. Soon it became clear Snowy was pregnant, and her trusting tom — the father of her babies — nuzzled her goodbye as Snowy accepted the woman’s invitation to move inside at least temporarily so she’d have a safe place to give birth to her kittens.
In the three weeks that followed, Snowy raised her kittens in the woman’s home, and the tomcat would come by daily to see her and their little ones.
Snowy died when a pair of dogs climbed the porch steps, snapping at her kittens. Snowy fought the dogs off while her babies escaped, but she died from her injuries.
The poor tom who had been her constant companion came by the next night and meowed for her. He showed up again and again, meowing mournfully each night, distraught at her disappearance.
The story shows cats are capable of extraordinary empathy and love: The love between Snowy and her mate, who was protective of Snowy and loving with their babies, an unusual trait in toms. The love Snowy had for her babies, sacrificing her life for theirs. And the love the crestfallen woman had for those kittens when she returned home and found Snowy dead and the kittens hiding.
Another story of a mother who gave her life for her kittens reinforces the idea that cats are capable of great love and empathy.
When a mobile home in Pasco County, Florida, caught fire this week, the man who lived there was able to escape but his cats were trapped and firefighters couldn’t reach them.
The mother cat covered her kittens with her body, laying on top of them and remaining there even as the fire scorched her.
When firefighters poked through the debris, they found the cat and her kittens. The mom and one of her babies died at the veterinary hospital, but one kitten survived.
“It seemed as if mom did everything possible to protect her kittens, even risking her own life in their defense, but the flames and the smoke were too much,” said Rick Chaboudy, executive director of the Suncoast Animal League. “But mom managed to protect one of her kittens from the blaze, enough to give that kitty a chance at life. Other than her whiskers being burned completely off and a slight odor of smoke, she is doing well with her bottle feeding and her cuddling.”
Staff at the shelter named the kitten Molly after Molly Williams, a former slave who became the first black female firefighter in the US. Molly the kitten is expected to make a full recovery.
What’s that? A tear, you say? Absurd! Buddy and I do not cry. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to toss a football around, talk about trucks and fix some things around the house with power tools.