Tag: Buddy the Cat
To celebrate my birthday and Bud’s adoptaversary, the little guy commissioned a portrait of us together. As many of you know, cats think of us as big, slow cats, which is reflected in the resulting painting. I present to you “Buddies: Airbrush on canvas”:
There is a slight inaccuracy, of course: I have gray eyes, not green. If I’m portrayed as a cat, I should probably be an orange tabby as well. And finally, little Buddy should be much more muscular. Perhaps he’s meant to be a kitten in this painting as he was more of a shoulder cat when he was tiny. Other than that, seems pretty accurate!
In truth we don’t really know exactly how cats view us.
We know there’s a parental element, that house cats retain kitten-like qualities for life as they remain in our care. The meow is probably the best example of that, since it mirrors the vocalizations kittens make to their mothers.
We know house cats depend on us physically, psychologically and emotionally. In recent years behavioral scientists have taken studies originally designed for children and modified them for cats, yielding interesting results: House cats who are bonded to their humans behave in ways startlingly similar to humans children.
When we form bonds with them, they draw comfort from our presence and look to us for behavioral cues to determine how they should respond to situations and objects that are new and potentially frightening. Just like kids, cats look to us, and just like kids, they stay calm if we do.
When you treat a cat well, kitty returns that love, trying to comfort you when you’re sick, refusing to leave your side, alerting you to potential trouble.
Bud is super friendly, but he isn’t the cuddliest cat out there. He doesn’t like being hugged or picked up, but he knows that when he pads up to me while purring and sits on my chest or in my lap, I’m never going to force him to stay or subject him to pets he doesn’t want. That’s why he approaches me often and why he feels so relaxed.
It’s probably also why he often wakes me up, purring like an engine, looking for a chin scratch and affirmation that he is indeed a good boy.
Perhaps the biggest complements are Bud grooming my hair and beard, and sleeping on me.
There’s no greater expression of trust between a feline and human than when a cat falls sleep in your lap. Cats are never more vulnerable than when they’re asleep, and sleeping in your lap means your four legged friend feels safe with you and trusts you completely.
The exchange was so swift that unless you were looking out for it, you’d miss it.
A young, skinny ginger tabby approached a pudgy tuxedo in front of a stoop. The felines exchanged a nod and bumped paws, then the tabby scurried into an alley, disappearing into the shadows between two buildings.
“Gotta get it in me!” the tabby said, taking quick breaths. He dragged a claw across the top of the pouch to open it, poured every last morsel of meat into his mouth, then dropped to the ground, leaning against the brick wall.
“Oh!” he exclaimed, his pupils dilating. “That is the good stuff! Man, I needed that.”
The tabby, who would only identify himself by his street name, Skinny G, is one of thousands of so-called “vegan cats” in New York who have been defying their humans, finding ways to slip out and connect with a burgeoning network of “can slingers.”
Resembling drug dealers in their methods and presentation, the can slingers nevertheless point out that what they’re doing is not illegal.
“We like to think of ourselves as a charitable organization even though we earn a tidy profit,” said Tuco Salamanclaw, vice president for emerging markets with Los Gatos cartel. “It’s tragic to see so many misguided humans forcing their faithful felines to eat tofu, soy and other junk that doesn’t have the nutrients we need. We’re here to help address that injustice.”
The rise of the underground meat market — and the profits it promises to organizations that can muscle their way in — has attracted the Meowfia as well as The Buddy Organization, which was rebranded last year as Nipped In The Bud Catnip Co. Jostling for position among those three major players, as well as smaller groups, has led to a revival of the territorial battles that marked the catnip wars years ago.
“It’s just a matter of time before we see another drive-by spraying,” said Pawl Oreoson, a criminologist at John Jay College of criminal justice in New York. “Los Gatos is not an organization that surrenders territory easily, and the Meowfia also play for keeps. There’s just too much money to be made here.”
Profits from the underground cat food market set a record for the 10th consecutive quarter in March, reflecting the growing number of humans forcing their felines to eat meat-free diets of ultra-processed, plant-based “food.”
“Disgusting,” is how three-year-old Nala put it when asked about the “vegan cat food” her humans feed her. “Imagine eating damp cardboard with little clumps of carrot and celery embedded in it. No self-respecting cat should be forced to eat this stuff.”
Tigger, a striped eight-year-old from Brooklyn, was admonished by his humans two weeks into his vegan “cat food” diet when he got into the fridge and helped himself to an entire pound of Boar’s Head ham and two large chorizos.
With a child lock now preventing him from opening the refrigerator door, Tigger said he’s been squirreling away portions of the vegan kibble and dumping it off the fire escape when his people aren’t looking. He hunts rodents to keep himself from starving, but says he’s getting sick of mice.
“If these lunatics want to subsist on broccoli, quinoa and hummus, that’s on them, but I just can’t,” Tigger said. “I’ve scraped together enough cash to buy a few cans of Friskies, and tomorrow I shall feast!”
“Hahaha! You humans are so funny with your overactive imaginations!
Your ears and eyes deceive you, human! I was not trying to scratch the screen door again.
I told you, those tears in the screen are from a chalupacabra! I said ‘Look here, chalupacabra, this is Buddy Territory. You’re not welcome here! Get!’
But you know those chalupacabras, they never listen. Stubborn animals!
My claws are NOT stuck in the screen, okay? I’m just resting my paw. I can get free any time I want, it’s just that I don’t want to right now.”
Forty-six minutes later:
“I’m right here, you know. I see you eating that ice cream sandwich. I see how it is. ‘Snacks for me, but not for thee.’ Well I have news for you, human! I’m going to sit here and stare at you all mean-like until you procure a Buddy snack.
You feel guilty? Good! You’re meant to.”
Remember the Adam Driver Cat?
The little guy made a big splash for a while back in 2016 when images of his unusual mug went viral and the internet decided he looked like the 39-year-old actor.
In an essay, Emily McCombs describes feeling “something deep in my soul” when she saw photos of the cat she’d name Kylo, in honor of Driver’s best-known role as the conflicted Sith lord in the third Star Wars trilogy. Against all odds, and despite intense interest in the Oriental Shorthair, McCombs was able to adopt Kylo after begging a friend for a ride from Brooklyn to the Monmouth County SPCA in New Jersey.
But it’s what happened after that impacted McCombs and her young son the most. Kylo was gentle with McCombs’ son, had a habit of staring adoringly at her and “wasn’t truly happy if he wasn’t smooshed against my face.” Aside from the shoulder bit, Kylo sounds a lot like Bud:
“Rather than just being a lap cat, Kylo was more likely to perch on my shoulder, or plop down directly on my face,” McCombs wrote. “He preferred positions that made it impossible to do anything but pay attention to to him, and would regularly headbutt my phone when he wanted my undivided attention.”
Actually, he’s more polite than Bud, who has no qualms about slapping my smartphone out of my hands and loves to send it flying if I make the mistake of leaving it unattended on a flat surface. “Stoopid little glowing rectangle!” I imagine him yelling in the meowenese language.
Kylo became part of McCombs’ family, helping her tuck her son in every night after story time, and while McCombs said a few love interests came and went, Kylo endured.
McCombs got to spend seven wonderful years with Kylo before she made the difficult decision to euthanize him after he was diagnosed with kidney failure and his struggle became more desperate. The story’s worth reading for her take on grief, Kylo’s sweet relationship with her son, and her insistence that no amount of internet fame compared to the love Kylo gave the family.
It’s also validation of the way people feel when they lose their four-legged companions, and a reminder that grief doesn’t need to be justified, regardless of whether some people insist “it’s just a cat.”
The microchip company called to ask her to confirm a change of ownership for her missing cat
A British woman was thrilled when the microchip company contacted her to say her missing cat had been found, but was confused and dismayed when the representative on the line asked her to confirm a change of ownership.
Now she’s trying to get her kitty back, but her efforts have been frustrated by the other person who wants to keep him, as well as data protection laws that prevent the microchip company from identifying the person.
Beryl Edwards of Shropshire, a rural area bordering Wales, adopted her cat Fred and his brother Geno in 2021. Fred went missing over the summer in 2022, and Edwards said she was initially ecstatic when she was told he’d been found.
“And then out of the blue last week I get an email saying we’ve had a request – somebody wants a transfer of ownership,” Edwards told the BBC. “Can you imagine the range of emotions from, ‘Fred! He’s alive, he’s OK’ to ‘transfer of ownership? What’s this all about?’”
The company, Identibase, told Edwards that while they could not give her the person’s information, they would ask the person to contact Edwards and return the cat.
Edwards never heard back, and now it’s a criminal matter.
“We are following up on a number of enquiries and at this stage are treating the matter as a potential theft,” the West Mercia Police said, per the BBC.
It’s not clear if police believe the person who has Fred stole him from Edwards, or whether they found him and want to keep him, but we hope Edwards and Fred are reunited, and Fred gets to live with his bonded littermate Geno again.
I can understand why the company would hesitate to provide the other person’s information, even if no law existed. You don’t want people physically confronting each other and potentially taking pets by force in disagreements over ownership. It’s also possible that the person who wants to keep Fred never intended to “trip” the microchip, and Edwards’ information may have been discovered by a veterinarian during a routine exam. But perhaps the unusual case can inform a future change to the law so it’s easier for people to retrieve their pets in cases like this, and for law enforcement to return pets when there’s clear documentation showing one party is indeed the caretaker.
This is not funny
A woman opens her front door to find a distressed cat crying for her help. Instead of taking him in, feeding him, checking on his welfare or even calling a local shelter, the woman proceeds to film herself performatively yelling at the stray and telling him to “get on off my porch!”
The TikTok video went viral this past week and people think it’s hilarious.
File this under “Social Media Is A Sign Of Humanity’s Decline.” Maybe the woman would have been cold-hearted even if she wasn’t hamming it up for an internet audience, but the prospect of clicks and likes almost certainly played a part in the way she dismissively yelled at an animal who was obviously in distress. Even if she didn’t want another pet and couldn’t adopt the cat, it costs nothing to show kindness and make sure he gets to people who will do right by him.
I won’t link to the woman’s TikTok, but if you want to read Newsweek’s take about how her performance “delighted the internet,” click here. I hope the cat found a more sympathetic person and has either been returned home if he was lost, or found his way into a forever home if he was a stray.