Tag: Scotland

Buddy Joins World In Mourning His Friend Queen Elizabeth II

Buddy the Cat joined the world on Thursday in expressing sadness at the passing of his dear friend, Queen Elizabeth II.

The dashing feline and the beloved monarch struck up a friendship during the latter years of her reign and saw their bond strengthen during trying times, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Turkey Shortage of 2021 and the death of the queen’s long time consort, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Although surrounded by friends and family, the queen became fond of Buddy for his unwavering support, his sense of humor and their shared love of turkey.

“The queen advised Buddy to keep a stiff upper lip during the Great Turkey Shortage of 2021, and Buddy was able to return the favor by being there for Her Majesty during the passing of Prince Phillip,” said royal observer Samantha Martin Bainbridge, the author of Flummery Tarts and Framboises St George: The Royal Family’s Favorite Desserts.

The queen took to referring to her favorite feline as “my dearest Bud-Bud,” though in keeping with tradition and ever the gentlecat, Buddy always referred to the queen as “Your Meowjesty.”

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Their unusual friendship made headlines in the British press, especially since feline companionship was unusual for a monarch known for her love of Corgis.

“The Queen loved her Corgis until the very end, but dogs are so very extra when it comes to expressing their love,” said Gideon Brackenthwaite, a royal observer and author of Henry VIII: The Kingly Pimp Hand. “Felines, like the British aristocracy, are much more reserved with their affection and shun garish displays of familiarity. For his part, the future Earl never name-dropped her Majesty or bragged about his friendship with her, a fact that the Crown deeply appreciated. You’d never find his future lordship’s name in the tabloids, heavens forbid.”

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Lord Buddy, Earl of Budderset. Credit: Buckingham Palace

Indeed, Queen Elizabeth II took the unprecedented step of knighting Buddy the Cat in 2021, naming him Sir Buddy, KBE of Buddington at that year’s investiture ceremony.

It was the first time the Crown had bestowed an honor on a feline since Able Seaman Simon, a ship’s cat on the HMS Amethyst who survived injuries he suffered during the Yangzte Incident of 1949.

Sir Buddy’s elevation was a poignant moment, and cameras captured Kate, Dutchess of Cambridge, dabbing gently at tears with her handkerchief as Buddy kneeled for his knighting.

Only a few short months later, Sir Buddy was elevated to Lord Buddy, Earl of Budderset, a meteoric rise for anyone in royal favor, let alone a cat.

During their friendship, Lord Buddy telephoned the Queen at least once per week and holidayed with her at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

In a charming anecdote relayed by Prince William, the Queen and Earl Buddy shared a bowl of popcorn while watching Braveheart and laughing uproariously at the Australian Mel Gibson’s Scottish accent. The friends also enjoyed playing bridge.

“Like the rest of the world, I am deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend and beloved Queen, Elizabeth. I’ll treasure the memories of our adventures together, especially the time we had a little too much to drink and woke the kitchen staff at 3 am to make us an epic turkey feast,” Lord Buddy wrote in a statement. “There will never be another monarch like Her Majesty, so beloved across the world with such an enduring and fruitful reign. All of us at Budderset House are in mourning, and feel for our friends at Buckingham Palace.”

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The earl was photographed on Friday in his Rolls Royce, eating a large meal of roasted turkey en route to London. At one point the Earl’s Rolls pulled even with the same model occupied by Princess Anne. The two exchanged pleasantries, and Lord Buddy was seen passing a bottle of Grey Poupon to the grieving royal between cars before the light turned green again.

“Such a simple gesture says volumes about His Lordship’s standing with the royal family,” said Edith Hershey, author of Direct From The Sauce: From Bechamel to Velouté, The Royal Family’s Most Beloved Condiments. “The Princess Royal would not accept Grey Poupon from just anyone. By passing the mustard, the earl was conveying his condolences and signaling his availability as a shoulder to cry on.”

Here Are Some Cats Singing The Imperial March From Star Wars, Plus Some Feel-Good Cat-Human Reunions

Since we featured some sad news in our last post — though tempered with some really good news from a Portland cat cafe — we’ll wrap up the week with some humor, absurdities and science, all cat-related of course:

  • Do you have two cats? If so, you can help researchers from UC Davis and the University of British Columbia, who are studying the ways cats interact with each other in human homes. All you have to do is watch a few cat videos online, then answer a handful of questions about the behavior of the cats in those clips, as well as the behavior of your own kitties. With enough data from participants, the research teams hope they can better understand the often-inscrutable interactions, squabbles, truces and social hierarchies that define relationships between domestic felines sharing the same home territory. “Ultimately, we hope this research can help identify gaps in owners’ knowledge of cat behavior,” U of BC’s Sherry Khoddami told Gizmodo. “The welfare of cats in the home is an under-researched area.”

  • Yes, cats do have a long and distinguished history of “messing shit up,” and they simply don’t care. Maybe that’s why cats singing the Imperial March from Star Wars — okay, cats sampled and pitch-shifted to the Imperial March’s melody — feels appropriate. Our fluffballs are inevitable.

This week brought us stories of two cats who were reunited with their humans after more than a decade apart, both in the UK.

  • Tom, a tuxedo in Cardiff, Wales, went missing in 2009. He spent most of the past decade-plus living with another cat in the safety of a cemetery with the help of a nearby family, who kept them well-fed. It wasn’t until recently that someone tipped off a local rescue to the presence of the two “strays,” and finally Tom’s microchip was scanned. On Friday, Tom’s human, Donna, was overcome with emotion when she reunited with the little guy at Anna’s Rescue Centre of Cardiff, fighting back tears as she stooped down to stroke his fur. Donna also adopted Tom’s longtime companion from the cemetery. (Click the link for video, which we were not able to embed.)
  • Meanwhile in Aberdeen, Neil and Lucy Henderson were reunited with their tabby, Forbes, who had gone missing in 2011. Neil Henderson was so shocked, he had to pull over and stop his car when his wife told him Forbes had been located by the SCPA. “I was completely unprepared for what I was about to be told and hearing that Forbes had been found left me completely astounded,” he told the BBC. Forbes was picked up by an animal control officer who realized he was very friendly and had a microchip. The Hendersons “have no way of knowing where Forbes had been all this time or what adventures he might have been on,” but they’re ecstatic that he’s back home.
Forbes the cat's missing poster
The original missing poster created by the Hendersons when Forbes disappeared in 2011.