Tag: Buddy the Cat

Dear Sir or Madam: I Have Recently Come Into An Inheritance of 5,000lbs of Premium Catnip

Dear Sir or Madam,

Warm salutations and greetings to you, my friend! I am writing to your most esteemed personage having just been informed by my attorneys that I stand to inherit more than 5,000 pounds of premium catnip, including Meowie Wowie, Purrple Haze, Kitty Kush and Mewbury OG.

However, due to the Byzantine inheritance laws of my homeland of Nigeria, I am unable to come into my considerable catnip fortune without an American bank account, which is needed to pay the inheritance fee to the Nigerian Office of Catnip Inheritance.

This is where I must humbly ask for your assistance, good sir or madame. It is my fervent hope that we may come to an agreement in which you allow me to make the inheritance payment from your account in exchange for a large portion of my inheritance. Would 2,000 pounds of catnip be acceptable recompense to you for this favor?

Yours truly, your friend,

Grand Prince Four One One, Nigerian Royal Family Cat


Dear 411,

Wow! Five thousand pounds of catnip! This sounds almost too good to be true! If I were you I’d build a big vault for all my catnip and go swimming in it daily, like Scrooge McDuck does with his money!

I don’t know where Nigeria is but it sounds like a wonderful country. I stole my human’s bank information and have attached it to this email. When will I get my 2,000 pounds of catnip?

Your friend,

Buddy

High on catnip!
Photo by Andrew Marttila.

Dearest Most Magnificent Buddy,

Warm salutations! It is my life’s honor to count you among my friends and execute this business deal together. Good fortune smiles on us both, and soon we will be bathing in rivers of catnip, the envy of all other cats!

There has been a small hiccup with the Ministry of Inheritance. In order to process my payment, I am required to submit a small processing fee with the Royal Processing Fee Bureau of Nigeria. It is only a paltry sum of $2,000, but again I am only able to make this payment via an American bank account.

If you would be so kind as to authorize the payment, you shall be reimbursed of course and we will be basking in our new catnip fortunes shortly!

With great affection and respect,

Four One One, Feline of the Nigerian Royal Family


Dear 411,

If you can repay the $2,000 right away, I’m happy to help! I’ll look out for the check and the catnip in the mail!

Buddy

Mmmm, catnip!
Photo by Andrew Martilla.

Most Marvelous Benefactor Buddy,

You, Sir, are my most valued and trusted friend! They say American cats are fat, lazy and selfish, but they are wrong, for you are not selfish at all! I have let it be known in my village that Buddy of America is a wonderful and wise cat. They sing songs about you and your generosity.

We are almost in possession of our catnip, my friend! All that remains is to cover the shipping fee and the Royal Nigerian Export fee. They are paltry sums, merely $4,000 and $3,500 respectively. I have already had my servant mail the $2,000 reimbursement for the processing fee, and will similarly return the funds promptly upon paying the export and shipping fees from your respected American bank account.

I received but a small sample of the Meowie Wowie this afternoon and raise a toast in your honor!

Your Loyal Friend,

Four One One, Cat Royal of the Family


Dear 411,

I’m fresh out of cash. What if I could scrounge up some cans of tuna and some old toys? Could we bribe the clerk to waive the export fee?

Buddy


Dear 411,

I haven’t gotten my $2,000 reimbursed and still no catnip! I know you probably forgot to write me back, but can you please tell me what the status is?

Buddy


Dear 411,

You tricked me! No catnip, no reimbursement, no village cats singing songs about me!

It just so happens I have a cousin in your country. He’s gonna pay you a visit!

Buddy

DBBAAD4A-4337-4064-A962-713532E3931C
Photo by Andrew Martilla.

Dearest Most Esteemed Honorable Buddy,

Your, ahem, cousin presented himself just minutes ago. Please, on my behalf, thank him again for not eating me! I did not know lions could be so merciful and had already emptied my bladder by the time I realized he would allow me to live.

Here is your $2,000 and the first 200 lbs of catnip you are owed. The rest will be delivered in installments for the next 24 months.

Lastly, I am instructed to inform you that, per your cousin’s direction, the music teachers have been drafting paeans to your majesty, and the kittens will stage a three-act play about how awesome you and your cousin are. But mostly your cousin.

Begging your forgiveness,

Four Eleven

All photos in this post are from photographer Andrew Marttila’s book, appropriately titled Cats on Catnip. Buddy highly recommends checking it out!

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Photo by Andrew Martilla.

Meanwhile, in Africa…

lioncatnip
Buddy’s cousin, enjoying the, uh, fruits of his labor. Photo credit: Linton Zoo

Cats Hate Treadmills More Than People Do

Meet Cinderblock, or Cinder for short. In the video below, a veterinarian’s got her on a treadmill, and Cinder is having NONE of it. Is it just me, or does that meow sound a hell of a lot like “No!”?

To make matters worse, it’s an underwater treadmill. Water and exercise, the bane of cats everywhere!

Anyway, Cinder takes the opportunity to provide a master class in how to get by with the absolute least amount of effort:

Cinder was surrendered to the veterinarian by her owner, who said she could no longer care for the portly kitty and asked for her to be euthanized. The veterinarian, Brita Kiffney, had a better idea.

“I couldn’t do it and asked her to relinquish her to me,” Kiffney told CNN. “She agreed and was grateful, as she really didn’t want to euthanize Cinder but was overwhelmed with the care of her father. So, she is morbidly obese, due to overfeeding by the father.

Now Cinder is on an involuntary weight loss journey, which Kiffney is documenting with a new Youtube channel, Cinder Gets Fit. Recent updates like the video below show the reluctant chonkster didn’t get away with the one-paw treadmill workout for long:

We wish Cinder and Brita the best of luck!

 

The Absurd Reason Why People Won’t Adopt Black Cats

Felines are a traditionally misunderstood lot, but no one gets it worse than black cats.

The poor little furballs are much less likely to find forever homes because of superstitions that won’t die, including claims that black cats are bad luck or agents of the devil.

While today is National Black Cat Day, many shelters across the US won’t adopt black cats out around Halloween, and sometimes for the entire month of October. The temporary moratorium is for the safety of black cats, who are much likely to be abducted, abused, killed or ritually sacrificed this time of year, according to animal welfare groups.

As if black cats didn’t have it bad enough, the age of social media has given people another reason to avoid black cats, this time for the most vapid of reasons: They supposedly don’t look good in selfies and Instagram shots.

Handsome Black Cat

Christine Bayka, who founded a rescue shelter more than two decades ago, tells the Telegraph that potential adoptees admit they’re passing on black cats for that reason.

“It happens all the time, I will go through all the questions and say ‘are you flexible about colour?'” Bayka said. “Then they will say, ‘Yes, as long as it’s not black.'”

As usual the fault lies with humans, not cats: If you can’t take a decent shot of a black cat it’s because you don’t know how to use your camera, not because the cat is impossible to photograph properly. After all, we never hear of nature photographers passing up opportunities to snap melanistic jaguars because it’s too difficult.

Black Jaguar
A melanistic jaguar.

But we’re in luck thanks to pro photographers sharing tips on how to capture the sublime beauty of these little panthers. Fuss with a few settings, make sure the lighting is right, choose a high-contrast background and you’re well on your way. There are even tips for getting better shots using your iPhone.

In honor of National Black Cat Day, here’s ample proof that they can look spectacular in photographs:

blackcat1
Focusing on the eyes and adjusting the contrast can yield some fantastic results, capturing the regal side of black cats.
cuteblackcat
Kittens don’t need help looking cute. Just make sure you’re allowing enough light into the scene.
blackcat4
This kitty looks like a legit panther thanks to a dramatic contrast between the black fur and the stone in the background, as well as an emphasis on his piercing yellow eyes.
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A dramatic contrast with the background helps this close-up pop.
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The classic black on black: This cat is not to be messed with!
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With a healthy contrast in colors, details like whiskers and the cat’s tongue stand out.
Black Kitten
Okay, maybe this kitten looks like he’s planning world domination from his secret lair, but he’s looking quite handsome while doing it.

And last but not least, from reader Anna K and her handsome little panther, Frank:

Frank the Cat
Look at those eyes!

 

This Might Be The Weirdest Cat Behavior Of All

Are cats the most religious animals?

I’m not asking because I think cats are locked in an eternal good-vs-evil struggle between their deity, the God of Napping, and the evil forces of the Red Dot. We’re all well aware of that.

I’m asking because, well, my cat prays. He eases onto his hind legs, sits straight up, puts his paws together and gestures as if in fervent prayer, just like this guy:

Or this marbled tabby apparently in the middle of her evening vespers to the God of Yums, that from which all sustenance seems to come. The fridge.

And finally this kitty, who baffles his owners as he stands up, presses his paws together and shows excellent prayer form:

Buddy has some bizarre and amusing moves in his repertoire of feline quirks, but the “praying” thing is the one behavior I haven’t come close to decoding. I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw the little guy doing it one day when he was just a few months old.

First thing’s first: No one seriously believes cats are praying or know what prayer is, so I just wanted to get that disclaimer out of the way before my inbox gets flooded with variations of “HAHA U MORAN CAT’S CANT PRAY LOLZ”

Some people think the motion looks more like a begging gesture. Cats are asking for something when they do it, proponents of the begging theory argue.

I think we can rule that out. I’ve heard owners of other “praying” cats say their furry lieges wave their paws like that in various situations, and that’s been my observation as well. Bud does it randomly, and I’ve seen him do it while he was unaware of my presence. He couldn’t have been asking for anything.

There’s no research on this behavior and there’s virtually nothing about it on the web aside from a handful of Youtube videos.

Maybe it feels like stretching or provides some other form of muscle relief. Maybe it’s a cat’s way of limbering up. Maybe it’s an indication of a cat’s mind state, the same way relaxed ears and an upright tail indicate kitty’s happy and relaxed. Or maybe it’s a form of self-soothing for anxiety.

Those are all guesses, and none of them feel quite right. So help a dedicated cat servant out: What’s your take on this behavior, and what prompts cats to do it?

What’s In A (Cat’s) Name?

Before I adopted Buddy, I vowed I’d be a different kind of cat dad.

Where other people gave their cats normal, mundane and even human names, I would give my kitten a spectacular moniker, one that would convey both his awesomeness and my cleverness.

If my new kitten were female, I’d name her Arya or Khaleesi. By the time I was ready to adopt, I was set on the former. For people who weren’t Game of Thrones obsessives for the past eight years, Arya Stark (pictured above) was the show’s plucky orphan and one of its most popular characters.

If my new kitten were male, I’d name him Khal Drogo after the fierce Dothraki warlord played by the musclebound Jason Momoa. But perhaps Khal Drogo wasn’t awesome enough. Maybe I needed something even more badass, like Tigron, Destroyer of Worlds, or Saberfang the Earthshaker.

Khal Drogo
Khal Drogo: Except for the huge muscles, he doesn’t have much in common with Buddy.

Then I took the soon-to-be-named Buddy home and realized those names were ridiculous. This tiny ball of fur with a pipsqueak mew couldn’t be Khal Drogo or Tigron. In fact, the first thing I called him was buddy: After I’d placed him in his brand new carrier and carefully buckled the carrier into the front passenger seat of my car, he looked at me through the bars with those big grey (at the time) eyes and cried.

“Don’t worry, buddy, we’re going to be best friends,” I assured him. “You’ll see.”

No doubt he was further traumatized and terrorized by my terrible singing voice as I queued up some tunes for the drive home.

IMG_2955
“Your singing voice is abominable. It should be outlawed under the Geneva Conventions.”

After some two weeks of indecision, I was hanging out with my brother one night when he asked me about my new friend.

“Ah, the cat…” I said.

“You still haven’t given him a name?” My brother was incredulous.

I had given him a name, I just hadn’t realized it yet. During those two weeks I called him buddy, with a lowercase b. A nickname. Not long after that, it became official.

My cat’s name is Buddy.

Saturday Night Travolta
“Everybody on the dance floor, shake your Buddy!”

In retrospect, it makes sense to hold off on granting a name for a while. There are a million Mittens and Socks and Shadows in the world, but how many cats have names that reflect their personality?

It turns out Buddy isn’t a particularly common cat name. It doesn’t appear at all in most popular cat name lists floating around the web, whether they’re sourced from registration, veterinary records or user-generated data.

Buddy finally makes an appearance way down on the list of cuteness.com’s most popular cat names, at #67, way behind enduring male names like Max, Charlie, Milo, Simba, Oliver, Jack, George, Loki, Jasper, Felix and Tiger.

In an article on male cat names, veterinarian Debra Primovic hits the nail on the head:

The majority of cats named Buddy are mixed breed cats owned or named by men. They are often rescued or strays brought into homes and hearts across the world. They are generally loyal and adore their owners.

A Buddy isn’t a prissy, carefully-bred show pet. He’s a Buddy.

The word buddy first came to prominence in 19th-century ‘Merica, and there are two main theories about where the name comes from. The most popular one posits “buddy” is a corruption of the word “brother,” according to Word Detective, while others trace its etymology back to “butty,” a slang-word for a comrade or co-worker among miners, pirates and others who were after “booty.”

Not booty in the modern sense, as in “Get on the dance floor and shake your booty!” but in the treasure sense, as in “Argh! Tell us where the booty be or walk the plank, we shall make ye! Now talk, scallywag!”

I like the first one because it fits: While I do feel parentally protective of my Bud, I see him more as a little brother or a best friend instead of my “child.” No disrespect meant to the people who call their cats “furbabies,” of course. It’s just how I envision our feline-human friendship.

What’s your cat’s naming story? Were you as ridiculous as I was, or did you have your heart set on something less absurd from the beginning?

Buddy’s Mailbox: Help! My Human Won’t Wake Up When I’m Hungry!

Dearest Most Excellent Buddy,

May I say, sir, you are looking very ripped these days. You are totally not fat and your human is a criminal for putting you on a diet!

Food happens to be the subject of my distress as well. My human sleeps through things that would wake the dead, and she won’t get out of bed no matter how hungry I am! Sometimes I can see the bottom of my bowl and I’m literally starving, yet she won’t stir. What can I do?

Famished in Finland

woman-sleeping-with-a-cat.jpg

 

Dear Famished,

Ooh! I’ve heard of Finland, the snowy realm where Santa Claws and his marsupials make toys for kitties who are good. I would like to visit some day.

Okay, you have yourself a situation. Luckily, Buddy has the answers.

You see, my Big Buddy is incredibly stubborn when I wake him up. Sometimes he throws pillows at me, and usually he yells that he’s going to take me to a place called Szechuan Garden II and sell me to them for $15 if I don’t shut up.

City Wok
“As you can see, he’s got extra meat on him…”

In order from pretty annoying to scorched Earth, here are my patented methods to wake sleepy humans:

The Endless Yowl: Best delivered as close to your servant’s ear as possible. Requires quick reflexes for when your human tries to swat you away, and lots of stamina. You may be forced to yowl for upwards of 40 minutes.
The Gentlemanly Slap: Okay, pretend you are French. Then pretend you are challenging your human to a duel. Then pretend you have gloves on, and you take one glove off and slap your human in the face with it. The slapping your human in the face part is the most crucial.
The Face Pillow of Doom: Lay down on her face, making sure your fur covers your human’s nose and mouth. When she starts shaking, you’re close to winning.
The Bellyflop of Utter Destruction: Find the highest perch in the room and climb to it. Face your human, aim for her tummy and jump, yelling “Geronimo!” You should hear a satisfying slap as you land, followed by a gasp from your human, who should pop right up like a piece of bread in a toaster! Then meow, “Feed me, bitch!” Mission accomplished!

Any of these methods should serve you nicely.

Your friend,

Buddy

DISCLAIMER FROM BIG BUDDY: Please don’t get upset at the Chinese food joke! I would NEVER sell Buddy to a Chinese restaurant for $15. He’s worth at least $20!