NEW YORK — The quality of Big Buddy’s work as a cat servant has been downgraded to “satisfactory” during his latest performance review, Buddy the Cat announced Tuesday.
The downgrade marks the end of a long streak for the dedicated human, who has consistently received high marks for impeccable service ever since he adopted the mercurial silver tabby cat.
“Big Buddy has always been a reliable servant, but in recent months his work has suffered in inexcusable ways,” Buddy the Cat told reporters at a news conference. “For instance, dinner was two minutes and thirty seven seconds late on December 14th, and on January 8th Big Buddy disregarded my need for uninterrupted beauty sleep when he got up to use the bathroom despite the fact that I was sleeping on his chest. That was a deep betrayal of trust.”
The human will automatically enter a probationary period triggered by the performance downgrade. In order to remain in good standing he’ll need to avoid being tardy with Buddy’s meals, ensure he anticipates Buddy’s demands for head scratches, and regularly remind Buddy he’s a very good and very handsome boy.
Felix Meowson, a professor of servantology at the Feline Servant Academy of New York, said Big Buddy faces considerable challenges ahead.
“He’ll need to be attentive and hyper-vigilant going forward if he wants to return to good standing. Weeks worth of excellent service could be ruined by accidentally stepping on a tail or failing to top off the dry food bowl before bed,” Meowson said.
He pointed to The Great Disappointment of 2012 when Monica Morales, servant to a cat named Smudge, allowed a door to remain closed between her and her feline master for more than three hours.
“Monica’s evaluations had never slipped below ‘outstanding,’ but that little stunt cost her dearly and she was downgraded to ‘unacceptable,” Meowson said. “She wasn’t the recipient of an affectionate head bump for almost three months, and didn’t hear a purr for four. She was a cat servant in the dog house, so to speak.”
Buddy said he wanted to avoid the situation with his human becoming as severe.
“You can’t just buy your way out of this with treats, although treats are an important component of the remedial process,” he said. “This is about correcting an injustice, and restoring things to their natural order in which we eat, sleep and lounge, and humans see to our every need.”
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.”
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.
Bruno was sad after he was surrendered to the shelter for the second time.
I’m pretty sure Buddy regrets teaching me all about animal cognition and emotion, which led me to adopting a vegetarian diet in 2015.
He’s never gone on the kitchen counters (such a good boy!) and when he does express interest in the fridge, it’s more of a rote status check, a defeatest confirmation that there’s nothing of interest for him in there aside from cheese.
But Bentley has no such scruples. The feisty feline from Oregon got his greasy little paws on a pizza one night and loved it so much that he’s become obsessed with the microwave, which is where he found that fateful slice.
Bentley’s human, Britney Shizo, said she put the leftover pizza in the microwave, then forgot about it until she returned to the kitchen and found Bentley happily feasting.
“The microwave is wide open and the pizza is on the floor and it’s gone, pretty much,” Shizo said.
Footage of Bentley, which has since gone viral, shows him determinedly trying to open the microwave door, gripping the handle with both front paws and using all the strength in his little body to get to that sweet, delicious pizza.
But, alas, he’s foiled by a child safety lock, which he refuses to accept as he strains, pulls and pushes the microwave in the hilarious footage:
I have to admit, as cute as Buddy was as a kitten, I don’t miss the “war on sleep” phase.
A woman who adopted a kitten set up a camera to film what happens while she sleeps, like the main characters of the surprisingly scary 2007 film Paranormal Activity, except instead of doors opening and slamming shut by themselves, TVs turning on randomly and other freaky ghost stuff, she got footage of her new kitty gleefully waking her, mostly by belly-flopping on her snoozing human:
I know the experience all too well, and I’d imagine most people who have had a kitten know it too.
Buddy was absolutely ruthless as a baby! He’d scurry into a corner or hide under my desk, wait until I was snoring or just on the cusp of sleep, then climb up and screech the kitten equivalent of “Geronimo!” as he kamikaze’d himself onto my stomach.
Not a fun way to wake up. At all.
Bud would celebrate with delighted trilling, then pad back into the shadows to wait for his next opportunity. Oftentimes I’d hear squeaky little kitten chirps and imagine him laughing as he planned his next attack. He had entirely too much fun torturing me at night.
But fear not, Jenna, it gets better! I’m happy to report the Budster is much sweeter and more considerate as an adult cat. He still wakes me up, but often not to the level of fully awake, and instead of a cat landing a triple lutz, double axle on my stomach, I’m treated to super-soft fur against my face and the calming vibration of the little dude’s purrs.
It might take the better part of a year, but your kitten will chill out, adjust to your sleep schedule and realize a peaceful snooze is more satisfying than nighty games of Harass the Human.
The feline tendency to sit on your face and screech into your ear if your cat’s hungry or really wants your attention? Unfortunately that never goes away…
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.
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.”
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:
Buddy’s Planetary Rover
The Evil Monster, whom Buddy was totally not scared of.
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?”
Feline humor, news and stories about the ongoing adventures of Buddy the Cat.