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.”
After our exciting announcement that BuddyFest 2020 will be held here in New York this September, we wanted to post official rules for meeting Buddy so each of you can begin to prepare yourselves.
Meeting and signing pawtographs for all 30,000 expected attendees would be an impossible task for Buddy, which is why only Turkey Club members who purchase the Platinum Package — at the low, low price of $499.95 — will be granted an audience with His Grace.
To help ensure your experience is as smooth as possible, memorize these few important rules about Buddesian etiquette:
Do not look His Grace in the eye, unless he favors you with a slow eye-blink. Direct eye contact can be interpreted as aggression. (*)
When you’re led into the throne room, take a deep bow to indicate appropriate respect, then step forward and bow again. Wait for the Herald to announce you to His Grace before presenting your petition.
At no point must you approach closer than six (6) feet from Buddy’s personage.
The proper style of address is “Your Grace.” However, “Your Radiance,” “My King” and “My Liege” are also acceptable.
Platinum Turkey Club members must dress in evening wear if they’ve signed up for the Dinner With Buddy package.
The main event of the evening is Buddy: The Experience. In this intimate gathering, 30,00 lucky fans will be treated to two thrilling hours of Buddy on stage with a couch, a bed, a box and a laptop. You’ll be the envy of your friends when you tell them you saw Buddy take a nap in person, or were only 36st rows back when he used his scratcher.
Finally, the audience will be treated to a performance of “Buddy In Concert”! Buddy will lounge on the main stage surrounded by the New York Philharmonic, which will perform orchestral pieces inspired by Buddy, including “Reflections of Handsomeness,” “Eye of the Liger,” “11th Nap,” and crowd favorite “Open The Door Right Meow.”
* Buddy promotions cannot be held liable for any audience member or attendee who is mauled to death for inappropriate eye contact or violations of Buddesian etiquette.
NEW YORK — Buddy the Kitten celebrated another successful ambush on Tuesday after violently rousing his human from sleep, sources said.
The 14-week-old gray tabby howled with delight after climbing up onto the bed and launching himself at his human’s face, landing belly-first with a delightful THWAP! as the big stupid human screamed and bolted upright.
Buddy the Kitten promptly retreated to a dark corner of the bedroom, shaking his butt and trilling with joyful anticipation until he heard his human, Big Buddy, begin to snore again.
With a battle cry of “Rrrrrrrrrrr!” the 4.5-lb kitten chomped down on the human’s exposed foot, which was fortuitously left uncovered by the protective blanket when Big Buddy shifted during his sleep.
“Shit!” the human howled, recoiling from the kitten’s shark teeth and claws. “Let me sleep, you little jerk, or I’m selling you to Szechuan Garden II!”
At press time Buddy the Kitten was planning an elaborate new attack involving a makeshift trebuchet and a water balloon, and said he was unconcerned about his human’s threats to sell him to the local Chinese restaurant: “I am a good boy!”
He would likely leave that attack for the following night, the playful kitten said.
“I has to purr in the morning so my human thinks I’m just a sweet little kitten and feeds me turkeys,” Buddy the Kitten said. “Then I make war again! Muahahaha!”
Cats have been a Godsend in this era of social distancing.
People are looking for something — anything — to get their minds off grim reality and the repetitive, depressing 24/7 virus coverage that dominates television.
Cats have delivered. Our furry friends have been covering themselves in glory, providing an endless supply of viral videos and making people smile just by being their endearing, quirky selves.
Most of all they’ve been there for us at home, soothing anxieties and lowering blood pressure with each lap they claim and each affectionate nuzzle. We may be isolated from other people, but when there’s a cat in the house you never feel truly alone. (If for nothing else, their meows at meal time will make sure of that.)
For me it’s not even a question: Without my Buddy, I’d be slipping into depression of a kind that can’t be cured with Netflix bingeing, books or games.
Now we’ve got to return the favor and protect our cats.
The first “confirmed” case of a cat contracting COVID-19 has come from Belgium, where a veterinary lab ran tests on a sick cat with respiratory problems and concluded the cat picked up the virus from her human.
“The cat lived with her owner, who started showing symptoms of the virus a week before the cat did,” said Steven Van Gucht, a public health official in Belgium, according to the Brussels Times. “The cat had diarrhea, kept vomiting and had breathing difficulties. The researchers found the virus in the cat’s feces.”
This is not good news.
Medical diagnostic labs in the US have tested thousands of pets for COVID-19 and haven’t found a single infected animal.
Unfortunately that didn’t stop innumerable people from abandoning their cats and dogs in China, leaving them in apartments and houses to starve. One Chinese animal welfare group, which is partnered with Humane Society International, says “tens of thousands” of pets were abandoned.
Some Chinese territories instructed people to kill their pets, and there are sickening reports of people clubbing defenseless animals to death in the streets.
That may not be surprising in China, which has an abominable record on human and animal rights, but now there are disturbing reports from all over the world. Shelter operators in the UK, for instance, say they’re fielding calls from people who want to abandon their pets because of the Coronavirus.
“Mostly, it’s people who haven’t got access to the right information online,” Claire Jones, who works at a shelter in Stoke-on-Trent, told the BBC. “It’s a nightmare.”
Misinformation and confusion are compounding the problem, the result of a new media ecosystem in which news is whatever a person’s social circle posts on their feeds and news consumers don’t distinguish between reliable press outlets (Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Reuters, etc) and the thousands of less scrupulous sites masquerading as legitimate sources of news.
Thus, when a dog in China tested positive for trace elements of Coronavirus — but blood tests were negative — sites like Quartz wasted no time pumping out headlines declaring that dogs and cats can be infected.
Exercising caution with information
It looks like the Belgium case is another in which fact and nuance are sacrificed for clicks. Belgian virologist Hans Nauwynck is among the skeptics who believe veterinary authorities in his country acted too rashly.
“Before sending this news out into the world, I would have had some other tests carried out,” Nauwynck told the Brussels Times.
To confirm the positive test, the lab used a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. A PCR test “allows scientists to multiply a very small sample of genetic material to produce a quantity large enough to study,” the Times noted. But the test only confirmed that the cat suffered from a flu-like virus. It did not specifically match the viral infection with COVID-19.
“A clear link between virus excretion and clinical signs cannot be established, in part because other possible causes for the cat’s illness were not excluded,” wrote Ginger Macaulay, a veterinarian in Lexington, South Carolina.
In addition, authorities didn’t rule out the possibility that the sample was contaminated or maintain a forensic chain of possession that would ensure it was properly handled.
“I would advise people to slow down,” Nauwynck said. “There may somehow have been genetic material from the owner in the sample, and so the sample is contaminated.”
To be absolutely certain, he said, more tests should have been done to confirm the initial result, and certainly before making an announcement to the world. Veterinary authorities should have tested for the presence of antibodies in the cat’s system as well, he said, which is a sign that an immune system is fighting off an infection.
“I’m worried that people will be scared by this news and animals will be the ones to suffer, and that’s not right. As scientists we ought to put out clear and full information, and I don’t think that has happened.”
With reports about the infected cat spreading across the globe — and adding to existing fears — the Belgian virologist said panic could override reason, with catastrophic consequences for our little feline friends.
“I wouldn’t wish to be a cat tomorrow.”
Chronicling the adventures of Buddy the Cat and his various criminal enterprises.