With all this talk of special breeds and glamorous designer cats, I found myself wondering: What’s your heritage? You obviously come from refined stock and must have commanded quite a price.
– Fancy Cat in Florida
My human informs me I’m a rare and noble breed known in taxonomic nomenclature as felis magnificantus handsomus. (Thus the prominent “M” mark on my forehead for magnificantus, which is Latin for magnificent.)
I am descended from an Amur tiger who mated with a manticore, producing unique offspring which was then paired with a puma, resulting in a spectacular felid who mated with a particularly handsome domestic cat, thus creating my unique breed.
This explains the majestic and regal bearing of my personage, my good looks and my considerable muscles. Not all cats are this ripped, as you know.
Legend tells of an unprecedented bidding war, with humans pledging small fortunes for the privilege of serving me. Big Buddy refused to divulge exactly how much money he spent to outbid the others, but if a mere Savannah can cost as much as $20,000, surely an impeccable specimen of felis magnificantus handsomus would command at least twice that.
This, dear readers, is why I am an indoor-only cat. It has nothing to do with me being scared of the outdoors, as laughably suggested by some. It’s because, as a powerful and glamorous feline, it is illegal for me to prowl the streets alone as I would strike fear into the hearts of humans, dogs and other lesser creatures.
Thankfully I’m a pretty chill dude and all it takes it some turkey to stay on my good side!
Buddy and I were a bit skeptical when we first heard the story of a cat who padded into the emergency room of a hospital, carrying her kitten by the scruff of the neck, to plead for help for the little one.
The story first appeared on Reddit without any details, but we were able to track down some of the people involved to fill out the narrative and answer some questions.
A woman was waiting in the emergency room of Kucukcekmece Hospital in Istanbul at about 5 p.m. on April 27 when the cat dragged her baby through the open doors.
The witness, Merve Özcan, described the kitten as “a little bit mischievous” in Twitter posts about the incident.
An article in Sözcü, a daily newspaper whose name translates to “spokesperson,” said the mother cat brought her kitten right up to the blue-gowned hospital staff, meowing for attention.
Hospital staff immediately helped — more about that below — and the cat mom followed them, keeping her eyes on her baby as they brought the kitten into a room for treatment.
“While the kitten was being cared for, the mother cat was given milk and food,” the newspaper reported. “Hospital staff ensured full treatment by passing them onto a veterinarian after their intervention.”
The story doesn’t say exactly what was wrong with the kitten, and Özcan did not know either.
While this story would seem insane to most of us, it starts to make a lot more sense when you consider where it happened: Istanbul, a city famous for its massive cat population, and the humans who revere those felines.
Cats are the most beloved animal in Istanbul and the living attraction of this huge city. They are extremely friendly, come in all sorts of cuddly colors and sizes, and always respond with a greedy “meow.” Stray cats usually take the best seats at cafes and restaurants in Istanbul without anyone even bothering moving them. They maneuver around tables and customers, inside and out of the buildings in search of the most comfortable spot.
Caring for the city’s hundreds of thousands of cats is a community effort: People feed them, pet them, bring them to veterinarians when they’re injured, and even build little dwellings for them.
With that in mind, it makes sense that a cat in Istanbul would know to approach humans for help, and to go to a hospital. If the mom cat lives in the area, undoubtedly she’s seen the sick and injured walk through those doors many times.
“Money is not an issue to some people when it comes to cats,” Ozan, a pet shop employee, told Reuters. “They take in cats with broken legs, blind ones or ones with stomach problems and bring them to the clinic. When they see that they are healed, they let them live on the street again.”
In an article titled “Istanbul: The City of Cats,” Goran Tomasevic of Reuters describes the relationship between the city’s inhabitants and their feline friends:
They are so ubiquitous that no one bats an eye at a cat padding across the lobby of a high-rise office building, or when one curls up to sleep on a nearby barstool. Shop owners and locals often know their neighbourhood cats by name and will tell tales about them, as if chatting about a friend.
A 2017 documentary, Kedi (Turkish for cat), explores the world of Istanbul’s street cats and the people who love them. Pictured at the top of this post is Kedi director Ceyda Torun, posing with cats in Istanbul.
NEW YORK — A ship carrying half a million pounds of frozen turkey was hijacked off shore on Friday night by a criminal gang that appeared to take orders from a cat, authorities said.
MV Fowl Call, a US-flagged cargo freighter, was less than 20 nautical miles from port when it was redirected back toward the ocean and its comms went quiet. Witnesses reported seeing a small cat issuing orders to an assault team and cackling with delight as he padded around on the deck of the freighter.
Several members of the assault team reappeared a few minutes later, holding two men at gunpoint.
“Sample the wares, boss?” one of the pirates asked, opening a case of turkey in front of the cat.
The small tabby leaned forward, took a sniff, then took a cautious bite, his expression impassive.
“T-T-T-TIGHT!” the cat shouted. “Oh, TIGHT, TIGHT, yeah! Oh blue, yellow, pink, whatever man! Keep bringing me that!”
The crew methodically packed the cases of turkey into three smaller boats, then departed the larger ship, leaving the crew tied up on deck.
A witness told investigators he spotted black-clad men loading cases of frozen turkey into a Los Pollos Hermanos delivery van, then drive off.
“Any suggestion that we were involved in this apparent turkey heist is absurd,” franchise owner Gus “Gustavo” Fringe said. “Los Pollos Hermanos serves the community and supports our police, in addition to serving the most delicious deep-fried chicken and turkey.”
They prefer to be called animal communicators, which makes their work sound more professional and less hokey, but the services they offer are pretty much identical to those offered by regular psychics, mediums, sorcerers and wizards. Per the totally legitimate site SheKnows.com:
Put simply, animal communication is a silent, telepathic language that functions via deepened intuition. Animal communicators are very much in tune with this ability and use it to have a dialogue with an animal. Animal communication is not about deciphering an animal’s body language or behavior, though. It’s an actual exchange of information between the communicator and animal in the form of words, mental images, feelings and more.
Buddy and I have several different means of communication: In the early morning hours he tells me he wants me to wake up by standing on my face and meowing into my ear, and I tell him to shut up and go back to sleep by throwing pillows at him.
By late afternoon Bud begins his daily ritual, communicating to me that dinner time is fast approaching and failure to serve yums on time will result in even louder and more annoying meows. I respond by threatening to sell him to the nearest Chinese food restaurant.
Clearly, we communicate well!
But could an animal communicator facilitate even better ways of exchanging information that don’t include vulgarities, face-walkings and late night ambushes?
We set out to ascertain the truth.
Animal Communicator # 1: The Long Island XL
Length of session: 42 seconds
Comments: “Relax your chakras. Open your inner eye and heart to the quantum energies of my chi. Okay. Good. Now I’m going to connect our minds. Oh my…Ugh. I’m getting an overwhelming stench. It’s…fish. And poultry. An ocean’s worth of salmon and enough turkey to feed a small country. More fish. More turkey. The clucking of a million portly birds, thousands of pounds of slimy salmon overwhelming my olfactory senses…I’m drowning in it. Oh God! Help me! Help me! Pull me out!”
Buddy’s comments: *BURP* She was pretty accurate.
Animal Communicator #2: Edward John, animal telepath
Length of session: 18 minutes
Edward John: So this is your cat, Buster?
Me: His name is Buddy.
Edward John: Okay, so you want me to talk to little Bubba here and have him tell me what he’s thinking?
Me: Uh yeah, the usual. I want to know if he’s happy living with me, what he likes, and what I can do for him to make it even better.
Edward John: Okay. I’m performing the Vulcan mind-meld now. My mind to your mind…it is logical to accept the connection.
Oh my. He’s a ferocious little guy, isn’t he, your Bubba? I’m getting images showing him prowling the neighborhood…
Me: He doesn’t go outside.
Edward John: …prowling the living room, serving as enforcer to the other cats in the house…
Me: He’s an only cat.
Edward John: Right. I knew that. Now I’m seeing fleeting images of a female cat, a neighbor’s cat. Buster sired a litter with her…
Me: Buddy was neutered at 5 months old.
Edward John: …but he revealed he’d been neutered, so he couldn’t be the father, which is why they brought Smudge next door for a paternity test and he’s the baby daddy.
Edward John: Okay, your cat’s speaking directly to me now! He says he’s sorry he doesn’t meow much, but he promises to meow with joy if you feed him more tuna.
Me: He hates tuna, and the problem isn’t getting him to talk, it’s getting him to stop. He treats me to nightly dissertations, rendered in meow, on theoretical physics and the creamy texture of smoked Gouda.
Edward John: Whatever. That’ll conclude our 18-minute session at the low price of $350. We can keep going for only $39.95 per additional minute if you’d like me to continue probing Barry’s mind.
Me: I think Barry, Bubba, Buster and I are good. Thanks, Edward.
Animal Communicator #3: Alison Doobwah, Medium
Length of session: 21 minutes
Alison: Okay, something’s coming through. I’m seeing a house. It could be white, or gray or maybe a light blue or tan. Does that sound familiar?
Me: No. We live in an apartment building.
Alison: Okay, I feel like he’s telling me he wants turkey. Does turkey mean anything to you?
Me: Yes, it’s all over the blog. It’s his favorite food. Not exactly a secret. Anyone could have looked it up.
Alison: A skeptic, huh? All right. I’m getting images, visualizations from the quantum reality, echoes of someone whose name begins with a D. Maybe Dave, Doris, Devon, Dirk, Debbie, Darren, Delilah or Decker?
Me: Nope. Neither of us know any Dorises, Devons, Dirks or Deckers.
Alison: Dominic? Diego? Dorian? Maybe Dakota or Desmond?
Me: No. Sorry.
Alison: Maybe an H? Oh, or a G? Does Buddy know a Greg, Gary, Gerald, Geordi or Gerrit?
Alison: What about grandma or grandpa?
Me: I had grandparents! That’s amazing! And my mom is like a grandmother to Buddy. Your intuition is outstanding!
Alison: I’m just reading the images I get from the astral plane. I’m merely the vessel through which the chakras broadcast their quantum energies and reveal their secrets.
Me: Makes total sense. What else?
Alison: He says he wants more toys. He says the snack selection in your home is sub-par, and that if you really love him, you’ll put more effort into buying a more diverse array of treats. He also says he wants a cat condo. In fact, he says he’s brought this topic up before, and he’s disappointed in your failure to follow through. Regarding sleeping arrangements, he says he’d like you to cut down on tossing and turning during the night, because you’re his mattress and excess movement disturbs his sleep. On the subject of wet food, he feels you don’t serve him turkey as much as he’d like, and that poultry should ideally be followed up with seafood. Regarding the vacuum…
Me: Okay, okay. Enough. I get it.
Alison: But there’s more! He says…
Me: Any more complaints and he can tell them to the cooks at Szechuan Garden II. Comprende?
Big Buddy: Nothing much, just looking at some NBA box scores before bed.
Buddy: Can you go back to the comments on that last story about me? The one where you exaggerate how I wait for you by the door…
Big Buddy: How exactly was that story exaggerated?
Buddy: I don’t wait for you by the door when you leave. I merely take a nap in proximity to the door. There’s a difference.
Big Buddy: Uh, okay then.
Buddy: Just read the comments!
Big Buddy: Okay. Wow, this one is very complementary: “Buddy is the most handsome tabby alive. Stunningly beautiful! Those eyes…”
Buddy: I like that one. More!
Big Buddy: Okay here’s one that says “He’s an absolutely beautiful cat,” and the next comment reads “What a sweetheart!”
Buddy: It’s true, isn’t it? I’m almost too handsome and charming. More!
Big Buddy: All right, this one says “Buddy has exquisite eyes.” Here’s another that says “What a gorgeous cat!” Oh, and you’ll like this: “Buddy is quite the hottie!”
Buddy: That’s what I’m talking about! People are finally recognizing my good looks! More!
Big Buddy: All right, what do we have here? “Buddy is a vain little jerk. I bet he rolls around in his own poop!”
Buddy:WHAT?! Who wrote that?
Big Buddy: Someone named LosGatos13. Pfffft. Wow. Listen to this one: “What a fat bastard. The police would throw him in jail, but he’d just eat his way out.” Ouch. Oh, this one from ChickMagnet217 is even worse: “Buddy is so fat, I took a photo of him last year and it’s still printing.”
Buddy: WHAT?!? Let me see that!
Big Buddy: Is that steam coming out of your ears?
Buddy: Buy us a plane ticket, now!
Big Buddy: Uh, why?
Buddy: Because you and I are going to fly from the internet to find this ChickMagnet217 and beat him up!
Big Buddy: You weigh 10 pounds. What are you doing to do, shred his ankles?
Buddy: No, I’m going to wait for you to beat him up, then I’m going to jump on top of him and slap him silly!
Big Buddy: That’s an assault charge, little dude. If I’m buying a plane ticket it’s gonna be to someplace warm where they put little umbrellas in cocktails, not to some nerd’s house.
Buddy: I’m sure they have umbrellas and cocktails wherever ChickMagnet217 lives. This is important. I order you, as my servant, to buy the ticket!
Big Buddy: No.
Buddy: Buy it!
Big Buddy: Nope. Calm down. Go take a nap or something.
FOUR DAYS LATER…
[There’s a knock at the door. I open it to find two unamused police detectives standing in the apartment hallway.]
Big Buddy: What can I do for you, officers?
Detective: I’m looking for a Buddy…
Big Buddy: You’ll have to be more specific, I’m afraid…
[Detective holds up a turkey-stained envelope in an evidence bag, with ChickMagnet217’s address and my return address written in sloppy crayon.)
Detective: Are you familiar with the Interstate Fecal Transport Act of 1972? It’s a federal offense to mail shit across state lines, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Big Buddy: Could you hold that thought a second? Thanks.
Buddy! Come here, Bud, these nice men are from the cat food company and you’ve just won a years’ supply of Savory Turkey Entree!
[Buddy comes tearing toward the door and skids to a halt, looking up at me and the detectives.]
Buddy: A whole year of turkey? Wow!
Big Buddy: Yup! You’ll just have to go with these two gentlemen here. They’ll take you back to the, uh, pet food headquarters to sign some paperwork for your turkey. Bye, Bud!
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.