WASHINGTON — In a series of tense exchanges with reporters President Buddy blamed Siamese cats for the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Responding to a question about the Americat veterinary system’s preparedness to deal with a crisis of this magnitude, the president argued the Siamese told the rest of the world the virus was “no big deal, okay.”
“The Siamese have obfuscated from day one,” Buddy said. “They’re Siamese if you please, they’re Siamese if you don’t please. What is that? Sneaky little bastards.”
In particular, the president said, CHOW — Cat Health Organization Worldwide — confused cats across the globe by initially saying they could not become infected with the virus, only to backpedal months later after cats in Austria, Belgium and the United States tested positive.
Dr. Meowci, director of the Feline Institute for Infectious Diseases, urged cats to practice proper hygiene and social distancing.
“Wash your paws!” Meowci urged. “If you regularly snuggle with another cat, consider keeping your distance. And you guys aren’t gonna like this, but you need to take baths, and not just with your tongues!”
President Buddy took Meowci’s advice a step further, wondering aloud whether antibacterials could be used to purge the virus from the inside out.
“Like, if you put antibacterial on kibble, like a sauce,” Buddy said, “and somehow get that in the body, maybe we could cure the virus? Because you see what it does, it’s very powerful. It’s tremendous, really terrific.”
The suggestion prompted Jimma Costa, a reporter with Cat News Network, to ask the president if he was “suggesting cats should drink or eat antibacterial soap? Because that would be very dangerous, Mr. President. By the way, my question should be trending right now on Meower. Don’t forget to include my name! Cameramen, you should be doing a close-up on me right now.”
An exasperated Buddy shook his paw at Costa.
“Fake meows!” he said. “You’re a hack, Costa.”
Meanwhile, the president proposed catnip as a potential cure for SARS-CoV2. When a reporter asked him why he seems so sure the minty plant has the ability to fight the virus, the president grew visibly annoyed.
“I just have a good feeling, okay?” he said. “Get the high grade stuff, the terrific stuff, none of that illegal shake from the Los Gatos. The tremendous stuff only.”
Why is everyone so racialist towards cats all of a sudden?
I’ve been doing my regular laps around the block even though all the humans are huddled in their houses, and everyone’s acting like I have the cooties!
Pete the Pomeranian, who is usually one of the friendliest of my neighborhood amigos, ran away from me this morning, while my neighbor’s snooty purebred poodles were more snooty than ever.
There’s a parrot who lives two doors down, and I heard her saying “Get away! Get away, you dirty cat! I don’t want your filthy feline viruses!”
Buddy, what the hell is going on? Why does everyone hate us?
– Freaked Out In Fayetteville
Dear Freaked Out,
You don’t read the newspapers, do you? Ever since a cat in Hong Kong and a tiger here in New York tested positive for the COVID, everyone is acting like us cats are zombies from The Walking Dead!
These days you can’t even claw or pee on a tree to mark your territory without all sorts of dogs, birds and squirrels coming out of the woodwork to yell at you about spreading “the cat AIDS,” as if we’re all infected and trying to spread it to everyone else.
There’s talk of rounding us all up and quarantinizing us in local cat cafes for at least a year. This is America, not Chairman Meow’s communist China!
We’re the lucky ones, my friend. Some cats have been tossed out of their own homes by the same humans who are supposed to serve them. It’s an outrage! The purrsecution and meowlevolent spreading of rumors has gotten out of claw!
For now, the best solution is to disguise yourself as another species entirely. Get some floppy ears and buck teeth and pretend to be a rabbit. And if that parrot keeps talking trash, tell her you haven’t eaten since yesterday and you’re wondering if all birds taste like turkey and chicken, then smile real evil-like. That oughta shut her up. 🙂
PS: Feel free to steal your human’s face masks. As you can see, they’re quite fashionable.
Years ago I worked with a guy who started a food pantry from scratch.
This man, a retired software engineer, approached the biggest restaurants, bakeries and food distributors in the area, asking them to donate their leftover/unused food so his pantry could distribute it to the poor.
Many obliged, but they all had the same request: “Don’t tell anyone we’re participating,” they told him.
The request wasn’t prompted by humility. These businesses didn’t want the public to know how much food they waste, and they waste a lot of perfectly good food, a dirty little secret of the restaurant, hospitality and food industries.
The reason I bring this up is because there’s another demographic that depends on the food those businesses toss out: Stray cats.
With restaurants shuttered because of the Coronavirus, stray cats are going hungry and dying for lack of the scraps they scavenge from rubbish bins, dumpsters and sidewalks. It’s happening here in New York, across the United States, and in countries like Turkey, India, Greece and Morocco.
For animals who already live difficult lives, the pandemic made things worse.
Cats aren’t the only animals suffering. One particularly dramatic example was caught on video in a Thai city where thousands of long-tailed macaques live and depend on food given to them by tourists.
Hundreds of starving monkeys stopped traffic in a chaotic brawl over a single piece of food, shrieking, clawing and pushing each other aside to get at it.
As if things weren’t bad enough, stray cats are now competing with former house pets for the little food available.
In India, where bad actors have been spreading false information about COVID-19, animal rights activists are finding abandoned pets — including pedigreed cats and dogs — on the streets after their caretakers abandoned them.
“A lot of this is happening because of misinformation that went viral earlier about pets being carriers of the virus in China. It turned out to be fake, of course, but a lot of damage has been done now,” People For Animals’ Vikram Kochhar told Quartz.
Much of the damage has been done on social media, where conspiracy theories and rumors about contracting COVID-19 from animals are rampant. In China, where pet owners abandoned cats and dogs en masse during the first wave of Coronavirus, some social media users on Mandarin-language platforms called for the “extermination” of cats after a pair of studies conducted by Chinese research labs suggested cats are susceptible to catching the virus.
It isn’t easy to combat waves of viral misinformation, even as health authorities across the world stress cats cannot transmit the virus to humans.
In Greece, abandoned pets — many with their collars still on — are following strays to food sources, especially in larger cities like Athens.
“We are seeing an increase in the numbers of cats in areas where we feed, some appear to have been abandoned, while others have roamed far from their usual spots in search of food,” animal welfare advocate Serafina Avramidou told Barron’s.
In feline-loving Turkey, where taking care of street cats is considered a cooperative responsibility, the central government has told local officials to make sure strays are well fed and taken care of. By making it a government responsibility, their thinking goes, citizens who normally care for the cats will be much more likely to stay inside during the pandemic.
“There are lots of cats on the side streets where there are only closed businesses,” a Turkish Twitter user wrote. “I haven’t seen food anywhere for days. The cats are running after us [looking for food].”
In Istanbul, Muazzez Turan fed some 300 stray cats daily before the pandemic, but said she’s had to stay home: Not only has her country been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, but she has pre-existing medical problems that make her susceptible to complications should she contract the virus.
Still, she said, her mind “was always with the cats,” and she told Turkish news agency Anadolu that she was relieved to hear the strays hadn’t been forgotten.
“I will sleep peacefully for the first time today,” Turan said.
Here in New York, some animal lovers are picking up the slack for closed restaurants as well as at-risk people who normally feed strays.
Among them is Latonya Walker, who told the New York Post she normally spends $600 a month feeding several colonies of strays but expects her costs this month will be “way more since there’s less restaurant garbage they can eat from, and more hungry cats walking around.”
“The cats have no clue what’s going on because nothing has changed for them,” Walker said. “It’s not in my DNA to see a cat suffering and not do anything about it. I’m equipped to make a cat’s life better, so I’m going to.”
NEW YORK — Touting its concern for catnip junkies and the nip-slingers who deal to them, the Los Gatos criminal gang became the latest organization to issue social distancing guidelines on Thursday.
The new guidelines represent the gang’s effort “to find new and innovative ways to deliver quality narcotics to our customers,” the gang said in a statement after veterinary authorities announced cats are susceptible to COVID-19.
“The safety and health of our drug dealers is of the utmost importance in the trying days ahead of us,” said the cartel, which deals almost exclusively in catnip and silver vine. “However, our dealers serve a vital function in our communities, not unlike pharmacies, and must remain in business for the benefit of cats who need the good stuff.
“That’s why we’ve implemented contact-less nip transactions, allowing our customers to get their fix without exposing themselves to the possibility of infection,” the notice read. “Users can visit our website or download our app to place orders. Use promo code BUDDYISAWIMP to get 20 percent off your first order of Meowie Wowie or Purrple Haze!”
The Buddy Organization, Los Gatos’ primary rival in the catnip distribution industry, has yet to respond or offer its own social distance policy.
Sources inside the organization say Buddy himself has been missing for days, with rampant speculation that the gray tabby has been hiding under his human’s bed since learning cats can contract the Coronavirus.
“That COVIDIOT has left us high and dry while the Los Gatos are muscling in on our territory,” one exasperated source complained. “Sales are down 73 percent over the last week and he’s nowhere to be seen!”
A spokescat for Buddy denied the reports.
“That’s ridiculous and frankly offensive,” the spokescat said. “Buddy is absolutely not scared of garbage trucks, paper bags, vacuum cleaners or toddlers, and he sure as heck isn’t scared of Coronavirus. He doesn’t even drink beer.”
You know your dreams are small when you’re wildly excited about toilet paper.
I braved a trip outdoors today to head to a local pharmacy where there was one pathetic shelf stocked with maybe two dozen rolls of TP, some paper towels and tissues, limit two per customer.
It was like finding gold!
I thanked the people at the pharmacy — a mom and pop shop — profusely for limiting purchases to put off the hoarders, and for staying open. We lionize cops and emergency services personnel, and everyone’s been extremely grateful for our healthcare professionals. They deserve the praise.
But we tend to forget about the people who work at grocery stores and pharmacies, those essential pillars of life that keep this country running and keep social order from collapsing. Cashiers, stock boys and pharmacy techs don’t make a lot of money — certainly not compared to doctors and nurses — and they don’t get pensions like cops and firefighters.
Yet they show up to work, despite the danger. We should all be thankful for them, and let them know we appreciate them. Even a simple thanks or enquiring about their safety lets them know we’re thinking of them and we’re grateful for what they do.
Okay. No one comes here to read about my bathroom habits, and I vowed not to let the virus stuff temper the humor on this blog. You guys come here for cat humor and to read about His Grace, Buddy the Magnificent, not for the same depressing crap you can read on news sites.
So while Buddy might not build trebuchets to launch water balloons at me while I’m sleeping, he does have an entire repertoire of incredibly annoying methods to rouse me from sleep.
It’s not because he’s hungry. I put down a bowl of Blue Buffalo kibble and fresh water before going to bed so His Grace doesn’t have to wake me when he’s got the munchies.
Nope, it’s because he wants to play, because he wants me to wake up, rub his head and tell him what a good boy he is while he purrs.
His go-to method is simply yowling loudly and incessantly, but I’ve countered that with earplugs. Haha!
When that doesn’t work, he’ll pad over to the kibble bag and rustle it as loudly and annoyingly as possible. And if he still can’t get me up, he goes to his litter box and starts punching the door flap over and over and over again: THUMP!creak!THUMP!creak!THUMP!creak! The earplugs don’t insulate that sound as well, so that usually wakes me.
The nuclear option, when all else fails, is walking on my head and screaming in my ear.
That, of course, is when I hurl all sorts of vile invective at him. People who read this blog know I love my cat, I care deeply for his safety and happiness, and I often put his needs before my own. But if someone who knows nothing about me heard the stuff that comes out of my mouth when Buddy’s trying to wake me up, they’d think I’m a terrible person.
Let’s just say it typically involves threats of defenestration, selling him to the local Chinese restaurant, punting him like a field goal kicker, and calling him a furry little shitball.
He may not be able to understand my words, but he definitely understands my tone, and still it doesn’t phase him. He knows me too well, including the fact that when I finally drag my ass out of bed and sit down with a cup of coffee, I’ll rub his head and call him a good boy as he purrs.
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.