Tag: New York

The Great Buddini Astonishes Audiences With New Magic Act

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Renowned magician The Great Buddini will make a triumphant return to the city this summer with a limited run of performances at the historic Thália Színház, his publicist announced on Friday.

The Great Buddini electrified audiences in his last appearance in Budapest, when he made entire bag of Blue Buffalo Bursts vanish, then conjured up a roast turkey before making it disappear again. In all, he made 17 different types of food dematerialize into his mouth during a thrilling and varied performance.

“You are a genius, good sir!” an audience member at one of the Budapest performances proclaimed. “Tell us, how do you do it?”

The Great Buddini doffed his cap and let out an enormous belch.

“A magician never *burp* gives away his s-sec– *burp* — secrets,” he said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ll have a brief intermission. Should be no longer than 10, maybe 15 minutes.”

The curtains drew tight and the pit orchestra began playing as members of the audience drifted over to the concession counter, but someone had forgotten to mute Buddini’s mic, and he could be heard muttering foul oaths, straining mightily and shoveling litter.

The Great Buddini
The Great Buddini toils endlessly in his workshop to find new and innovative ways to make food disappear into his mouth.

“I thought we’d resume with an examination of what is real and what is not,” The Great Buddini told the audience after they’d returned to their seats and the lights had dimmed once again. “Does the red dot exist, or is it merely an illusion?”

Buddini slapped a paw down onto the wooden stage floor, then drew astonished gasps as he held it up, with the elusive red dot pinned between two claws.

“They said it could not be done!” exclaimed a cat in the fifth row. “All hail The Great Buddini!’

“All hail The Great Buddini!” the audience repeated.

Buddini’s 2022 tour took him around the world before finally returning to his native New York, where audiences fainted with disbelief and a New York Times critic declared the magician was “an unrivaled master of sleight of paw.”

Despite near-universal acclaim, some took issue with The Great Buddini’s performances. A scathing review in the New York Post took aim at “imbeciles” who were “paying to watch a chubby cat pig out on snacks on a stage.”

The Great Buddini’s fans were unperturbed.

“Are they trying to say there’s no magic involved in Buddini making an entire bag of moist treats disappear into his mouth?” asked Otis, a 10-year-old orange tabby. “Because I assure you, it’s absolutely magical!”

Fans Flock To NY For 4th Annual BuddyFest

NEW YORK — Screams of excitement came from the taxi as it pulled up to the Javits Center and three women filed out, each of them wearing cat ears and face paint mimicking the striped pattern of a tabby cat.

Klara Vogt, Anja Becker and Ursula Schulz had come all the way from Düsseldorf, Germany, for the party, but for them the trip was worth it.

“We originally planned to go to Das Büdenfest in 2020, ya, but the pandemic made it dangerous and inefficient to travel,” Schulz explained. “Now that die plage is ünter kontrolle and Deütschland airlines are running efficiently like clockwork again, we are able to come and celebrate Herr Büddenschrieber!”

Organizers are expecting more than 15,000 attendees for BuddyFest IV, which is jam-packed with all things Buddy for the entire weekend.

Earth, Wind and Fire will kick off the festivities on Friday night during the welcome ceremony and dance party, where guests can snack on turkey sliders and turkey-seasoned popcorn as they watch an artist chisel a 20-foot-tall ice sculpture of the beloved feline.

An area exclusively for feline guests featured a boxing ring containing 62 different boxes of various materials to sit in, as well as VIP boxes with can and bottle service. A nearby lounge offered long tables covered with objects to paw-smack onto the ground, surrounding a sizable fountain bubbling with beef and turkey fondue.

“Boxes, good eats!” raved Jasper, 3, in between rips from a catnip hookah. The Scottish fold lounged comfortably in a corrugated cardboard box with two of his catatonic friends who sat with their eyes half closed, surrounded by a permanent haze of the minty plant.

(Above: The ice sculpture at BuddyFest IV this year, left, and the sculpture from BuddyFest III in 2022.)

The main convention floor was opened Saturday morning with Buddy-themed exhibits, Buddinese merchandise and Buddificent performances from artists and musicians paying tribute to the little guy.

A Marvel comics booth will offer previews of the upcoming comic series Bud: The Silver Knight, while HBO will host a panel discussion with the stars of its newest drama, House of the Tiger, starring Buddy.

Jake Lipton, son of the late Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton, will lead an afternoon symposium titled “Buddnipotence: Celebrating Buddy’s Benevolent Effect On Geopolitical Relations, Nuclear Non-Proliferation and the Art of Napping.”

(Above: Cover art from Marvel’s Bud: The Silver Knight, left, and a Hungarian-language comic aimed at a younger audience, right.)

Few fans were as excited as Frank Gambino, 28, a bodybuilder from New Jersey who attended as a costumed Buddy. While he described himself as a fan of Buddy’s movies, he said he was primarily interested in the buff feline’s Youtube workout series, “Snaxercize.”

“Buddy is the best, bro,” Gambino said. “I’ve got all his creatine supplements, his new line of protein shakes from GNC and that TigerFuel stuff he swears by. Buddy’s jacked, bro.”

On the first night of the festival a large crowd had gathered in front of the second stage where the poets laureate of four countries were slated to perform pieces “meant to convey Buddy’s magnificence in mere words.”

“Buddy’s simultaneous status as feline icon, movie star, sex symbol and cultural muse means he occupies a rarefied position in the American psyche,” said former New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani. “He’s equal parts cuddly cat and terrifying tiger, and I think that’s part of what makes him so beguiling.”

BuddyFest IV was heavily advertised with billboards and signs in major cities

Tickets for BuddyFest IV have been sold out since Jan. 2022, but determined fans of the fantastic feline can still get ahold of them — for a pretty premium. Tickets were selling for as much as $1,700 on StubHub and eBay, but Bud superfans were unperturbed.

Among them was former US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised Buddy on social media.

“Received a big, beautiful letter from Buddy today,” Trump wrote on his social media site, BiglyFacts Social. “The Budster is tremendous cat, just terrific. The best cat you’re ever gonna see, believe me, folks. He’s tremendous.”

A Woman Wanted This Gorgeous Kitty Euthanized For Litter Box Issues

Lulu is 13 years old and began eliminating outside her litter box last year after a long life of doing her business properly.

Instead of realizing that a change in behavior was almost certainly precipitated by health issues — and attempting to get those issues sorted out — Lulu’s “owner” brought her to a veterinarian to be euthanized.

The vet realized Lulu was healthy and her issues were easily remedied, wisely persuaded the woman to sign over ownership of Lulu and brought the Himalayan to the local SPCA. She’s been there since December.

Lulu had urinary crystals which were remedied after a change in diet, and she hasn’t had an “accident” in months.

Staff at the SPCA want people to know that they don’t have to surrender a cat for litter box issues or other behavioral changes even if they think they can’t afford veterinary treatment.

“If your pet is not behaving or their behavior has changed, the first step is to get them to a vet to see if something is medically wrong. Even if it is not a medical condition, there are numerous resources — many available at Dutchess County SPCA — to help resolve the issue and avoid both euthanasia and surrender to a shelter,” Lyne Meloccaro of the Dutchess County SPCA told People. “Medical assistance, expert guidance, and management plans, and training referrals are all available for you.”

Lulu has a regal bearing, an epic coat and beautiful coloring. Credit: Dutchess County SPCA

Dutchess County, which is about 75 miles north of New York City, happens to be the former college stomping grounds of Big Buddy. I graduated from Marist College and lived in the area for some years after. The SPCA there does good work, and its law enforcement division has handled some high profile animal-related crimes over the years.

It’s sad that Lulu lost her home after 13 years, but maybe it’s for the best if she ends up with a devoted servant who will really love her. Her caretakers at the SPCA say she’s stubborn, demands affection on her own terms and wants an “emotional support human.”

Lulu is still available for adoption. The SPCA says she’ll do best as an only cat in a quiet household, and we have no doubt she’ll bring joy to the lucky person who brings her home.

Sir David Cattenborough’s Newest Documentary Reveals The Elusive Silver-Furred Buddy

NEW YORK — All those hours trudging through the dense undergrowth of New York living rooms, hoping for a glance of an elusive feline, have finally paid off.

Speaking to reporters about his newest nature special, Sir David Cattenborough said he and his crew spent more than 200 hours in the natural habitat of the silver-furred Buddy.

Also known as the Buddinese tiger, the silver-furred Buddy is “native to the living rooms of New York” and, with his meowscular physique, “is the apex predator of his environment.”

“What a fascinating animal!” Cattenborough exclaimed.

The famous naturalist, conservationist and documentary narrator accompanied a camera crew into the thick jungles amid couches, pillows and carpets, where they observed the silver-furred Buddy at a safe distance as the fierce feline went about sleeping, eating and lounging.

Cattenborough and Buddy
Sir David Cattenborough with Buddy the Cat.

Speaking excitedly in his familiar whimsical cadence, Cattenborough described the documentary crew’s luck in catching the Buddy on a hunt, when he ruthlessly brought down a red laser dot.

“People ask me, ‘Sir David, what makes the Buddy any different from other tigers and lions? Isn’t it basically the same animal?’ While they’re all famously fierce felids who strike fear into the hearts of other creatures, there are differences as well,” Cattenborough explained. “Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated crew, we’re able to bring our audience along as we take the closest look yet at this most elusive and fascinating beast.”

The new documentary, “Buddy: The Perfect Predator,” will be available to stream exclusively on Pain In The Bud, and was made possible by a grant from the Buddinese Foundation for Greater Buddesian Understanding, with additional financial support from the Coalition for Meowscular and Ripped Cats. Look for it this week on PITB!

Cattenborough and Bud
Sir David Cattenborough was able to earn the trust of a silver-furred Buddy.

Sunday Cats: Hoarders In Buddyland, Alleged Dallas Zoo Thief Nabbed, P-22 Remembered

When police went to a Yorktown, NY, home for a welfare check this week, the last thing they expected was to find an army of cats.

The responding officers breached the home when no one answered, finding an elderly couple deceased inside, along with some 150 hungry, neglected cats. Police don’t believe there was foul play in the death of the couple, but the number of cats and the condition of the home have “hindered” their investigation.

The Westchester County SPCA is taking on the monumental task of collecting the cats, giving each of them veterinary care and finding homes for them. Staff there are calling it the largest single rescue in their history, and they’d already filled their own facilities and local shelters to capacity by the time they’d rescued 100 of the famished felines, leaving them scrambling for room to place the others. Some have upper respiratory, eye and skin infections, the SPCA said, while most of the cats were malnourished and dehydrated.

Despite living in conditions police described as “filth and squalor,” the cats are well-socialized and friendly, rescuers say. They believe the husband and wife may have been Abyssinian breeders at some point.

“It’s very unusual in a case like this, especially with that number of cats, for them to be as social and sweet as they are, usually they are scared when they come from a situation like this because they haven’t had a lot of human interaction,” the SPCA of Westchester’s Lisa Bonnano told the New York Post.

Yorktown is about 28 miles north of Casa Buddy, and we can vouch for the excellent work done by the Westchester County SPCA, whose veterinarians gave kitten Buddy his first shots and gave him the snip.

Veterinary costs alone are expected to exceed $40,000, so if you’d like to help, you can make a donation here.

Alleged Dallas Zoo thief nabbed

When 24-year-old Davion Irvin stopped an employee at the Dallas World Aquarium to ask about exotic animals there, the staffer recognized him as the same man pictured in a surveillance still from the Dallas Zoo.

Police released the image to the public after three separate enclosures at the zoo were breached, leading to the brief disappearance of a spotted leopard on Jan. 13 and the theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys about two weeks later. The langur monkey exhibit was also breached, but the animals were not removed.

After the aquarium’s staff tipped them off, cops caught up to Irvin a few miles away and have since linked him to all three break-ins. They charged him with two counts of burglary — for the monkeys and the leopard — and six counts of animal cruelty. They’re also looking into whether Irvin may have been involved with the “very suspicious” death of an endangered lappet-faced vulture on Jan. 21.

Cops, who initially suspected the thief was looking for exotic animals to breed or sell, have said Irvin hasn’t told them why he wanted the primates and the medium size cats. Their investigation is ongoing.

Thousands say goodbye to P-22

More than six thousand people crowded into The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday to say goodbye to P-22, the Hollywood Lion, a puma who made the hills above the city his home for more than a decade.

One of several new murals of beloved mountain lion P-22, who was euthanized in December after he was hit by a car and suffering from an infection.

People spoke about seeing his curious face pop up on their doorball cameras, spotting him disappearing into the trees in Griffith Park, and how his presence piqued the curiosity of many people who took the time to learn more about mountain lions.

But the unofficial theme of the event was how P-22 showed people humans and wildlife can co-exist, and how our species can do a lot more to make sure the animals we share the Earth with will survive in the future. One woman told LAist that before she learned about P-22, she “used to think they were scary” and aggressive like the big cats they’re often confused with.

Others said he inspired them to get directly involved with conservation efforts.

“We are wildlife. We are creatures of nature, just as all the animals and plants are,” archaeologist Desireé Martinez, a member of the indigenous Gabrielino-Tongva tribe, told KTLA. “What can we do to make sure that the creatures that we are sharing this nature with have the ability to survive and live on — just like us?”

P-22’s unforgettable visage, already familiar to Los Angelinos, is now ubiquitous in his former range, with several murals adorning the sides of buildings and other displays bearing his image.

“He inspired so much happiness. I mean, look at all the people that are here,” Babetta Gonzalez told LAist. “We have to remember that we are in their neighborhood and we need to respect their environment. We have integrated, but we could do a lot better.”