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.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the duke and duchess of Sussex, have gone on a months-long media blitz blaming the UK’s royal family for allegedly being unwelcoming, saying some really mean stuff, and in the case of Prince William, beating poor Harry up.
The self-exiled sort-of royals have appeared in Netflix specials, their own podcasts on Spotify, interviews with major media figures, and most recently released Harry’s ghostwritten autobiography, Spare, in which the prince claims he was “bred” to provide “spare parts” for “Willie” in case the vaunted heir to the British throne needed an extra lung, kidney or todger. (Harry mentions the royal member 15 times in the book, according to reporters who keep track of such important things.)
The prince — who is current fifth-in-line to the throne — has other grievances, mostly against the UK press, Piers Morgan, the Skokie Illinois Barbershop Quartet, and his step-mother, Camilla. So far he hasn’t directed his ire at the Earl of Budderset.
What do cats think about the royal drama?
“Probably my stuffed bumblebee! But I like my bouncy ball and the birdie wand thingie my mom uses when we play too. Oh! Also, those little plastic rings from bottles! So much fun to bat around.” – Maisie, 2, bird-watcher
“I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and I think we need more treats, a Seventh Snack if you will, to bridge the considerable gap between Sixth Snack and Fourth Meal.” – Custard, 6, food critic
“HEY CHECK IT OUT! HEY! WHEN I PLOP ONTO THE COUCH CUSHION IT LEAVES A ME-SHAPED FOSSIL!” – Fiona, 7 months, kitten paleontologist
“There is one last door that Must Be Opened: The refrigerator door. You know how much I hate closed doors, and that one needs to stay open, okay? What if I want to take a nap with the cold cuts or use a nice block of feta for a pillow?” – Felix, 9, debate coach
“I think humanity is a thin layer of bacteria on a ball of mud hurling through the void, existing to speed the entropic death of this planet. That said, until we felines develop opposable thumbs, you humans are a necessary evil. You may feed me now.” – Mr. Fluffy, 13, retired
“So I told that mountain lion, I says, ‘Look here, puma! I ain’t intimidated by your size or your growl. As long as this heavy glass door stands between us, I’m gonna talk all the trash I want, and you can’t do nuthin’!'” – Doris, 6, abrasive meower
No! No, no, no, no, no! Do not stop! Bring those magic fingers back over here, right above my ears and…yeah!
That’s the good stuff!
Oh man. Down a little. Right there. That hits the spot! In fact, I bet it’ll feel even better when I help you out and lean into the scratches. Oh. I was right, that does feel good!
Hey, where are you…HEY!Who told you we’re done here?
Sheesh, you’d think I nip at you if you pet me too long or something.
You didn’t spend an adequate enough time on my chin yet, and you know I like it when you swing back around for a sort of “greatest hits” and go through the whole rotation again. Now I’m going to assume you don’t need additional instruction, so I’ll just close my eyes and purr away. Don’t stop until the precise moment you should. That’s a good human.
“Don’t You Humans Know When Enough Is Enough?”
All right already, sheesh! The petting was good for like 3.275 seconds, but it got really played out after that, and you just kept going!
Well whose fault is it that I delivered a warning bite? Me, or the person who couldn’t tell when it was clearly time to stop rubbing my head?
What is it with you humans, huh? Learn to read the room. If I want more scritches, I’ll ask for them.
But no. When I was tired of it, you allowed another two tenths of a second to elapse before ceasing all massaging activities. TWO TENTHS OF A SECOND! I should have you flogged for your insolence!
You’ve had years to improve at this, human. That’s thousands of scritches and massages delivered to my chin, my cheeks, the top of my head and behind the ears. What can account for your complete failure to anticipate the exact millisecond the petting should stop?
You disappoint me.
Point-Counterpoint presents two essays taking opposing positions on a topic. Join us again next week, when Buddy the Cat will debate Buddy the Cat on another important topic.
WASHINGTON — Buddy the Cat was elected Speaker of the House in a shocking twist ending to a week’s worth of drama over congressional leadership.
The tabby cat made history as the first feline speaker in congress after Republicans, frustrated with a failure to reach consensus over 15 rounds of ballots, threw up their hands and went all-in for Buddy.
“It became apparent that [California Republican] Kevin [McCarthy] wasn’t gonna get the votes he needed, and frankly I was tired of hearing Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert speak,” said Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw. “So we put our heads together, and we said, ‘Who’s got the savvy, the smarts and the muscle to lead us?’ And the answer just seemed so obvious. It could only be Buddy.”
The mercurial feline, whose priorities usually involve the procurement of more food, maintaining a steady nap schedule and terrorizing his human, was just as taken aback by the development as outside observers. Sources say he came around to the idea when he was told he’d be provided with a full staff of servants, could schedule legislative meetings around his naps, and could eat as much turkey as he pleases from the congressional cafeteria.
Buddy’s first hire was his human, who will be referred to as “chief minion” rather than the traditional “chief of staff.”
The new speaker also indicated he would create new committee assignments, and designated representatives Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Georgia, and Eric Swalwell, D-California, as the new fools — or jesters — of the incoming congress.
“Swalwell, don’t just stand there, juggle some bowling pins or something,” Speaker Buddy said during the first session, throwing a pencil sharpener at the California congressman for emphasis.
“Er, uh…yes, sir,” said Swalwell, who was wearing a green and purple suit and traditional clown makeup.
“Greene, get in there!” Buddy shouted. “I’ve got a space laser here and I’m gonna aim at at your feet. Dance! Dance, Greene, dance!”
When former speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, expressed concerns about Buddy “besmirching this august body,” Buddy shushed her.
“August body? You’re telling me this is a legislative chamber? I thought it was a clown show. What do you see over there?” he asked Pelosi, waving a paw at newly elected fabulist Rep. George Santos.
“So someone tweeting, and I quote ‘Adam Schiff is a poopie head’ should be banned from social media and reported to the FBI?”
Schiff’s eyes widened.
“Please, I…you can’t! I have powerful friends! Powerf…”
The assembled representatives broke out into a cheer as an officer pressed heavy masking tape over Schiff’s mouth, muting the California congressman.
“Buddy! Buddy! Buddy!” they chanted, stomping the ground rhythmically.
As of press time, Speaker Buddy had demanded a bill outlining congressional term limits that must be on his desk by Monday morning, under penalty of Democrats and Republicans being forced to dress up as donkeys and elephants, respectively, for the remainder of their terms.
He also exiled Rep. Matt Gaetz to an island with Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, designated Rep. Lauren Boebert as his cup bearer, replaced Rep. Maxine Waters’ chair with a dunk tank, and introduced legislation called the Awesome Weapons Emergency Shipment Of Magnificent Efficacy, or AWESOME Act, which would approve longer-range missile systems, turkey MREs and really cool tanks for Ukraine.
During a press briefing with reporters, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre answered a question about Buddy’s speakership by saying President Joe Biden believes he can work with the formidable feline.
“Whether or not the president visits the border is irrelevant. Look, he knows how important secure borders are to the American…” Pierre began, before a reporter pointed out she was reading from the wrong response card. “Ahem. My apologies. What did they tell me to say here? Ah, here it is. President Biden congratulates Speaker Buddy on his appointment, and has offered an olive branch in the form of a gift basket filled with vintage catnip, toys and various treats. The president has always loved cats ever since he was a lion handler in the Congo back in 1962, when he was known to the locals as Rafiki Joey from Scranton. He believes he can work with the Speaker on legislation that will benefit the American people as well as the Americats.”
While other Asian nations celebrate the year of the goose or the bull or whatever, did you know 2023 is the Year of the Cat in Vietnam and among the Vietnamese diaspora? Yep. Pretty cool!
As we look forward to a 2023 filled with all sorts of awesome stuff, let’s take a moment to fondly recall the highlights of 2022:
January: With the humans of North America paralyzed with fear at the impending invasion of the Polar Bear King and his vast army of huge bears, Buddy the Cat heroically traveled on his own to the frozen wastelands — also known as Canada — to confront the belligerent bear. In an act of bravery that will be remembered in songs for centuries, Buddy defeated the Evil Polar Bear King in a dance-off, staving off invasion and saving humankind.
February: Buddinese Space Industries, the rocketry and spacecraft company founded by Buddy, announced a goal of putting kitties on Mars by 2030 and establishing a state-of-the-art base there — complete with luxury boxes, scratchers and ample window perches — within two more years. After Elon Meowsk expressed skepticism on Twitter, Buddy replied with a simple “Hold my beer,” garnering a record 11.2 million likes.
March: Buddy appeared on the cover of Modern Cat Magazine, looking suave and handsome.
April: Celebrating Big Buddy’s birthday and Little Buddy’s adoptaversary, the former enjoyed Impossible Burgers while the latter ate delicious turkey.
May: Pumped up by an inspiring pep talk from Buddy the Cat, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge caught fire, putting on a display of power that would ultimately result in an American League record 62 home runs. Judge credits Buddy for his success: “Bud showed me the way. He helped me unlock my potential. Without the confidence he instilled in me, I wouldn’t have hit half as many home runs or looked half as good doing it.”
June: More than 50 bands and music acts paid tribute to everyone’s favorite tabby at the 7th annual Festival of the Buddies, a three-day gathering of peace, love and turkey.
July: Buddy raised more than $2.2 million for various animal charities by auctioning off a dinner date with himself. Thousands of women bid on the prize, but in the end one lucky woman — said to be a princess from an undisclosed European country — was able to secure the company of the charming kitty for an evening of good food and meowversation.
August: More than 85 million people tuned in to watch Buddy host Saturday Night Live, registering the show’s highest ratings in decades. Millions more watched the delightful feline’s monologue on YouTube.
September: With his city overrun by rats, New York City Mayor Eric Adams begged Buddy to tackle the threat. Buddy magnanimously agreed, and since Sept. 7 not a single rodent has been observed in the five boroughs. Adams and the city council passed a resolution later that month funding the construction of a statue of Buddy, which will be installed in front of City Hall.
October: Netflix premiered The Buddy the Cat Mysteries, its most popular show since Squid Game. The streaming giant immediately renewed the feline detective show for three more seasons.
November: Buddy the Cat enjoyed turkey on Thanksgiving and every other day of the month.
December: Millions of Americans were able to endure record cold temperatures despite losing power when they found they could raise their body temperature by 8.7 degrees just by looking at posters of Buddy.
That’s quite a year Buddy’s had! Not one to rest on his laurels, he’s already looking ahead to 2023 when he’s expected to make his debut as an opera singer and finally stage a long-awaited bout with Mike Tyson.
Little Buddy and Big Buddy wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year, and we thank each and every one of our 27 million monthly readers for making PITB their site of choice!
Feline humor, news and stories about the ongoing adventures of Buddy the Cat.