Tag: cat photography

Buddy’s A Good Sport, While I’m A Yuge Hypocrite!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about people dressing their cats up in elaborate outfits for Instagram, and how it’s exploitive of the kitties. At other random times I’ve opined that most cats want nothing to do with clothes or accessories, and it’s cruel to treat them like dolls and play dress up with them.

My opinion on the subject hasn’t changed, but now I’m a hypocrite.

While my family was exchanging Christmas gifts, I was handed a small present while my brother and his wife explained that the gift was from my 8-year-old niece, who had found it and picked it out herself.

I opened it, revealing a pair of tiny “cat sunglasses,” with the packaging in Russian and a photo of a cat rocking the shades. (My brother works for the State Department and has been living in a former Soviet bloc country for the past year and a half. It’s a downgrade from Tokyo, but hey, you can’t get amazing assignments every time.)

“They’re for Buddy,” my niece said, beaming.

At the time I was thinking there’s no way in hell Bud would wear them, and I wasn’t going to try…but I knew my niece would expect to see a photo of him rocking the shades.

And so, after a bit of negotiation and the promise of tasty treats as a reward, Buddy agreed to wear the glasses just long enough for me to snap a few photos. I didn’t press my luck.

Here’s the glorious result:

Buddy In Shades
“I look too awesome in these, human, which is why I can’t wear them for more than 10 seconds. Any longer and I would generate a vortex of awesomeness from which nothing could escape.”

Credit to the little guy for posing and being a good sport. I wouldn’t have forced him to wear the glasses if he freaked out, and he didn’t seem to mind. He was curious and interested in biting the glasses more than anything.

Bud was rewarded handsomely in moist chicken cat treats and gobbled them down happily. A short while later he climbed up onto me, laid his head on my chest and started purring, so I’m as sure as I can be that he wasn’t traumatized by his brief fashion show.

So there you have it. I’m a hypocrite.

As for my niece, she loved the photo. Her and her younger sister are very fond of Buddy, and he’s started to warm to them as well, even if he remains cautious and well aware that they are young humans who haven’t totally developed fine motor control.

Besides, they have incentive to be extra nice to Bud. LOL Dolls are all the rage among young kids now, and I’ve told my nieces that Buddy’s got a huge collection of them, as well as a vast assortment of Pokemon. If they’re good to Buddy, he just might let them play with his toys…

Bye, Buddy: Why I Got Rid Of My Cat

When I started Pain In The Bud, my goal wasn’t to celebrate cats or to express my love for my cat by sharing his quirks and amusing anecdotes about his allegedly adorable behavior.

I had one goal and one goal only: To make money. That’s why you see ads all over this site, and it’s why I’ve been relentlessly hawking certain pet products. The companies behind those products pay me big bucks!

Which brings us to our next bit of news. Since I’ve been writing about Buddy online, creating a fictionalized version of him that is delightful and loveable, and selecting only the best photos to make him look handsome and dashing, I’ve received several offers to buy him.

To be clear, the reason I didn’t sell him before was not because I was hesitant to part with him. He’s annoying AF, he’s a degenerate catnip addict and he never, ever shuts up.

The real reason? I was holding out for more money. The more I wrote about him, the more delightful and adorable he’d appear to readers, driving his price up. It’s kind of like a basketball team giving more playing time to a player on the trading block, pumping up his stats so he’ll command a higher price on the open market.

The Buddinese Tiger
A promotional image that was part of my dastardly campaign to drive up Buddy’s price in the recent bidding war. He is not a tiger.

So when the most recent offer came in last week, I felt I’d driven Buddy’s price up as high as it would go. A potential buyer in Somalia offered $20,000 for the little stinker! In the meantime, another interested party — a competitive table-setting champion from Skokie, Illinois — offered $22,000.

It was time for a bidding war!

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to report that Buddy has been sold to the Somali for $28,550. The lucky (or unlucky, really) bidder, a pirate who plunders the commercial shipping lanes off the coast of his native country, believed all the nonsense about Buddy being a fierce and powerful miniature tiger, and was in the market for a guard cat to help keep his booty safe.

They tell me there is no turkey where Buddy has gone, and he was very angry about that. Oh well. His new owner is also a neatness freak with OCD who vacuums his home six times a day, which I imagine does not sit well with Buddy, given his history with vacuum cleaners.

But who cares? I got almost 30 grand out of the deal! I’m going to buy a new Les Paul to replace the one “Buddy” (real name Jerkus Maximus) broke, my home is blissfully quiet, and I can sleep through the night without being woken by that infernal little tribble with a tail licking my face. Who in their right mind wants to be roused in the middle of the night by a purring cat? It’s absurd.

So it is with a not-so-heavy heart that I announce an end to Pain In The Bud. He really was a huge pain in the bud. Now he’s someone else’s pain in the bud. Huzzah!

P.S. With Buddy gone, I plan to refocus this blog on the wonderful world of Hummels and the extremely profitable Hummel resale market. Wanna buy the hottest Hummels at street prices? Hit me up.

Sad Buddy
Awww, so sad! Buddy has been exiled to Somalia!

Why Your Cat Doesn’t Want A Hug

The Daily Mail has an amusing photo gallery of cats looking annoyed as their human servants pull them in for hugs.

Some of the cats have unmistakably disgusted looks on their faces, some use their paws to push their people away, and a few even sink their teeth into their humans when the latter prove themselves oblivious to every other form of communication.

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I’d like to think most of the people pictured aren’t experienced caretakers, because while every cat is different, as a general rule cats aren’t fond of hugs. That should be apparent almost immediately to anyone who bonds with a cat.

Why? Because cats don’t like feeling restricted, and to them, a hug is an animal 10 to 25 times their weight manhandling them and preventing them from leaving under their own power.

Cats aren’t comfortable with that for the same reason they don’t like being cornered and having their escapes blocked.

Of course we all understand the impulse to hug cats. They’re small, cute, fluffy little animals who behave a lot like furry toddlers and amuse us with their endearing quirks.

But as with petting, if you want your cat to enjoy hugs, your best bet is to allow kitty to come to you and seek affection on her own terms.

In short, treat them like the living beings they are and respect their feelings. They’re not pillows.

I try to limit my unsolicited petting to a quick chin-scratch or head rub in passing. If Bud wants more, he lets me know. By respecting his boundaries I’m also letting him know that approaching me when he does want affection will result in a stress-free experience: The little dude will climb onto my shoulder or pad up onto my chest, his entire body vibrating with his powerful purring, and nuzzle his cheek against me.

That’s his way of letting me know he’s in the mood to have his head and cheeks rubbed and his chin scratched. Often I’ll just hold out a hand at first, letting him guide my hand to the top of his head.

That builds trust so that when Bud is relaxed and lays down on my chest, I can hold him for a few minutes and rub his head as he purrs. He knows I’m not going to stifle him.

That’s how you hug a cat. Many dogs seem to enjoy getting scratches and pets any time, indefinitely. Cats don’t.

Buddy the Manly
“Back off, human, or face the wrath of my fangs and claws

Again, cats are like humans — they each have their own personalities, likes and dislikes. Learning them shouldn’t be difficult, but one thing is universal in feline-human relationships: The more trust you build, the more your cat will seek you out and want to spend time by your side.

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My Favorite Photos Of My Best Little Buddy

Here’s my newest favorite photo of the Budster, which you guys have seen in the humor post about Buddy’s gallery exhibit at the Louvre:

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This photo is so Buddy. He’s sitting in the coffee table and staring at me with that classic Buddy expression on his face, which usually means he’s waiting for me to play hunting games with him, or just to give him a few scratches on his head and tell him he’s a good boy.

This next one is a random shot, taken with my old iphone when Bud was just laying down and looking cute:

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I loved the photo from the moment I snapped it, but I loved it even more when a reader saw it and remarked that it looked like the little guy was “radiating love” at me behind the camera. Either that or he’s thinking “Don’t dally, human, run and fetch my snacks!”

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This one was taken outdoors on the balcony. Bud loves to soak up the sun and warmth during the spring and summer. In the natural light you can really see his coat pattern, his unbroken tabby stripes and the deep green of his eyes. In indoor artificial light, his eyes appear a different shade of green and sometimes yellow. His coat pattern also appears much more subtle under LED and incandescent lighting.

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Here’s the little dude as a baby. Unfortunately I took most of his kitten photos with an old iPhone and they’re not very good.

Still, I do miss his kitten days when I look at these shots. Bud was quite a fuzzy kitten. He was a talker from the very beginning, and even if I couldn’t see him at a particular moment, I always knew where he was because I could hear him chatting away and all his exclamations as he played with plastic bottle caps or gleefully knocked things off shelves.

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Buddy on a rainy day, staring out from inside the sliding glass door leading to the balcony. He looks bummed that the sun isn’t out.

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More baby photos! I remember showing some of these shots to my brother when we went hiking one weekend a few weeks after I’d adopted the Budster. My brother, who should be one to talk as he dotes on his beloved dog, said: “I think you’re in love!”

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You don’t wanna mess with these guns! Buddy flexing his considerable muscles.

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Kitten loaf!

I do have a few decent kitten photos taken with the Canon T3. This was before I took a photography course and learned how to properly use the damn thing. I like to think I’ve come a decent way since then. As in the previous kitten photo, Bud’s eyes were the familiar kitten gray before they began to turn the now-familiar deep green in adulthood.

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I really like this one. There’s nothing too special about it, but the little guy is intently focused on something and looks happy.

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Another one with the classic “Buddy look.” He’s a very vocal cat and was probably trilling with interest at something when I took this shot.

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A fairly recent shot from the past month or two. I like this one. Buddy is very expressive, and this photo captures his whimsical look pretty well.

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And finally we have Chubby Buddy pulling off a classic loaf pose and undoubtedly thinking about delicious turkey.