Buddy is my boy. He’s a chill dude. He’s beloved by cats wherever he goes. Buddy is an orange tabby and everyone loves orange tabbies!
I told you the story of Daisy in a previous post. This is her littermate and brother, Buddy.
How It Began
Initially, I had decided to adopt one of the six teenage kittens that had been born in the barn where I had started working. I was immediately drawn to the cute orange kitten, of course. But a little girl kitten was the bravest of the bunch and approached me first. I kitten-nabbed her and the rest of that can be told on my Daisy’s page.
After having bonded with Daisy and realizing she was miserable being kept inside, despite her love for me, I started letting her accompany me to work out in the barn. She was reintroduced to her siblings. Daisy, being the feisty girl she is, wasn’t too impressed, but soon they all became reacquainted and friends again.
Daisy would spend all day at work with me in the barns and then follow me to the apartment room where I lived. She’d eat, take a nap, and be raring to go for the afternoon. She’d get to play outside and then come back in for the night.
One morning after work, Daisy and I were followed home by her brother, the orange tabby. He simply walked right inside and happily went to town on the kitten food Daisy had in her bowl. I fed them both some wet food. Happily purring, the orange tabby refused to leave.
I had been adopted and socialized a teenage kitten all at once!
(Keep in mind, these guys were around 16-20 weeks old and almost completely feral still. They had some socialization in that they had people feeding them, but very little handling at all, except when one got in the way. When I first pet them, they couldn’t figure out what I was doing and would twist around to try to see what was going on!)
Mischievous Duo (Plus Littermates)
Daisy and Buddy were inseparable at first. So freaking cute they were, play fighting and running around. Daisy was the snuggler, but yet more independent. Buddy wasn’t a snuggly kitten, but he absolutely had to be near me at all times.
As they grew a little older, their bond wasn’t as strong. Daisy went her own way and Buddy went his. They still have fun fighting each other occasionally, though.
Both Buddy and Daisy got vaccinated, fixed, and microchipped. They each got a breakaway collar, too. Daisy kept breaking hers off in her adventures, of course.
Despite what people who dislike cats claim, Buddy is like most barn cats in hunting rodents, not birds. Buddy prefers stalking a mouse hole or the hay bales for mice and rats and bugs. He checks drainage ditches, under the small walking bridges, and other various places.
In fact, I know of only 2 birds ‘caught’ by any of my 7 outdoor cats all last year, and I couldn’t tell you if the bird was hurt or not before they got the poor thing.
The rest of Daisy and Buddy’s siblings figured out where the crazy barn cat lady’s apartment was and attempted to move in too! They realized I would feed them and pet them and they loved it. Unfortunately, two cats were my limit. I had only wanted one to begin with! I couldn’t take on six. But I fed them, loved on them, and a coworker even adopted the gray dilute tortoiseshell female and named her Maui.
Soon, the last three kittens had names: Boots, Princess, and Crackhead.
Upper Respiratory Infections are No Joke
After a couple of months, Daisy came down with an upper respiratory infection that was super mild. Most upper respiratory infections are viral in nature, a lot like our colds, and require no real treatment except time to get over and supportive care for the symptoms if extreme. Daisy sneezed and was a little sniffly for a couple of days, then she got well.
She only had one day she acted oddly. She was just super clingy one night. The next morning, she was back to normal.
Buddy didn’t sneeze or seem congested at all. In fact, I didn’t think he had it at first. But my boy got really, really sick. The poor boy was lethargic, uninterested in food, and started losing weight. I brought him into the vet immediately.
He had a fever of over 105 degrees!!
He stayed overnight, got some fluids into him, antibiotics and a fever reducer. I picked him up the next morning. He still wasn’t feeling chipper, but he looked better. And boy was he happy to see me! (I’m sorry, Buddy! I’ll try not to do that to you again!)
Because he was sick, I had to postpone his neuter surgery. Luckily, being male this wasn’t a huge deal.
A few days later, he still wasn’t eating. Buddy worried me so much. I’m sure he felt like hell because of the lack of food, too.
A friend brought me some fried chicken and sides for lunch one day. I didn’t even make it back inside before Buddy perked right up and started yelling at me. “Feed me that yummy stuff now!” he seemed to say. I was so happy he wanted to eat, I gave him nearly all of the chicken! He ate nearly an entire chicken breast that I hand fed him. (No bones of course!)
I credit the smell of cooked chicken with saving his life. He recovered completely and was just fine the next morning. It took a little bit to get his weight back to normal, but literally, he looked 200% better in one day.
Today, He’s Almost Two!
Today, he’s nearly three years old!
He’s my companion in all outdoor activities. He loves hanging out with me every time I’m outside or in the barns somewhere. Even when it’s cold as crap!
He’s also my kitten pal as he tolerates other cat’s nonsense quite well. In fact, other cats adore Buddy!
Cats love Buddy. Cats maul Buddy often in a loveable way, of course. I honestly do not understand it because the feeling is not mutual. He isn’t a hissy kitty, but he really just ignores other cats.
Buddy doesn’t want to cuddle. He doesn’t even want to play with them. Buddy just wants to chill next to me.
Yet they love him. I credit it with his smell because they usually smell him first and then rub up against him. Immediately. It’s weird. The first meeting, they smell him. Then rub. Buddy usually avoids the rub calmly and walks away.
Two teenage feral cats I was socializing took an instant shine to my boy. They were always trying to sleep with him, meow at him for attention and I figure Buddy was annoyed by the whole thing. Yet, he still tolerated it. Simply moved his head away from the overeager young adult cat or moved away. Buddy would be sleeping and one of the ex-feral teenagers would have to curl up with him as if he were their mother. There are times two cats are sleeping with him. It’s crazy weird.
To be honest, Buddy is so good-natured, he’s actually pretty boring! He is completely trained to follow me around like his sister, Daisy, does. But he does it better because he also doesn’t mind being indoors as much as she does. He comes home in the evening and will meow at the door to be let in every single night. (Daisy insists on running away when she sees me at bedtime, even now!)
He’s such a good boy!
Status of the Buddy/Daisy Siblings
I had both Daisy and Buddy fixed, obviously.
I got Boots, Princess and Crackhead fixed in preparation for the Training Center closure and Barn Cat Relocation project mentioned in my About Me post.
Maui had a single kitten this summer because she is not fixed yet. This is one lesson I learned about people taking on a ‘free’ kitten.
As these kittens were already born before I came to work in that barn and hadn’t belonged to anyone specifically, I had no say in who could take one or not. I also couldn’t insist on getting her fixed first. Full disclosure, though: I probably would have let them take her as he was a fellow barn worker in the same barn AND he does like animals and knew he wouldn’t abuse her.
This was also shortly after I arrived in Louisiana and I hadn’t yet known about the local resources to help me get barn cats fixed (there were 20 in that barn alone needing to be desexed!!) at the time my coworker adopted her. Nor had I heard of TNR at the time.
After I got Princess, Boots, and Crackhead fixed, a super nice lady heard about the abandoned barn cats needing outdoor homes. She came and picked Princess to adopt as an outdoor pet. She ended up calling me shortly afterward, they were getting her vaccinated and everything and bringing her inside! Hopefully, that worked out for them and Princess is a happy, spoiled indoor kitty. If not, I know she’s a happy, spoiled outdoor kitty!
Sadly, in the midst of trying to locate outdoor homes for the cats, both Boots and Crackhead disappeared in the same week. That’s suspicious and I hope that someone saw their photos online (and recognized them) and took them home, even if they didn’t come to me first. Boots wouldn’t come to many people except me, but Crackhead loved everyone. I just hope nothing bad happened to them.
22 thoughts on “My Boy Buddy”
I enjoyed reading your post. It did make me a little sad at the end wondering what happened to Boots and Crackhead. I sure hope they are somewhere safe and nothing happened to him. Isn’t it also crazy how the little respiratory infection didn’t really phase Daisy, but yet made Buddy so sick! I’m so glad that the fried chicken cured him! Anyway… your article was entertaining and I think that it is wonderful all that you are doing.
Thanks so much for your kind words! I still worry about Boots and Crackhead. I only hope someone saw the Facebook post about their pictures and needing a barn home. I don’t know why they wouldn’t talk to me before, but I hope they got homes.
Me too. I love cats. I have one named Babou. He is an indoor cat but when we put him on a leash, he is a explorer.?
Instead of us walking Babou, he walks us! His fave food is tuna. When I was little, he stole my mom’s tuna can for her salad. He still does that today.
Hello Rochelle, I must say that this article is very inspirational and funny. Buddy is so cute that I can’t describe it. I like cats, I even have one male cat who is 3 years old and it is similar to Buddy. He doesn’t like other cats, he just wants to be with me which is crazy. Thank you for sharing such nice story.
Thanks so much for reading it! ^_^
Cute story! I have two cats which are brother and sister, Phil and Bella. I’ve been thinking about adopting another but unsure how they will be with another cat. They are just over a year old. Any tips for me if I am to move forward with adopting another kitty?
Hi! If you’re looking to adopt another cat, I would consider getting a kitten if you have adult cats. You can introduce adult cats to your adults, but it takes more care and patience. They may never accept another adult cat as a buddy, though. Tolerate the new kitty, eventually yes. But kittens integrate better with established resident cats. A couple of tips is getting them used to the smell of each other before introducing them. If you want to keep a baby gate or something between them you can. Always supervise the introduction. Allow hisses and paw slaps, but stop actual fighting.
I usually introduce by locking myself and the cats into one small room, like a bedroom. And we hang out together. I have cats that love each other from different litters, ages, and everything. But always supervise!
Such a very interesting nice story you have here with your kittens I was so carried away and I almost felt emotional on how they left and you couldn’t find them, I hope they are also safe too and nothing bad happens to them. It is so rare to see nice people like you who would take care of babies like these without really knowing their whereabouts… Thanks for sharing this interesting experience.
Thanks so much!
Aw you kitten-nap Daisy? That is the cutest word and to be honest I would probably do the same, I just cannot turn down a cute kitten. The picture of Buddy and Daisy is super cute. One question, do you put Daisy on a leash? My Sno Sno liked to go does his business in our backyard. He would always come back and cry for me to let him in. However, one afternoon I let him out and he just never came back. It was unexpected and I was torn by this so I just want to let you know that it might be better to put your Daisy and Buddy on the leash.
Thank god for that fried chicken, Buddy made it! Buddy sounds just like my Sno Sno. All Sno Sno wanted to do was just be next to me and asked me for food all day lol. You are lucky to have Buddy in your life.
PS. Buddy is super adorable on the video.
Hi! Thank you for your concern, but these two aren’t pets, exactly. Though they are pets, they are barn cats, first. That means, no leash. I’ve done it, but they never were great being confined in any way. I deal with TNR and feral and barn cats, rescuing and finding homes for those that can be adopted and fixing and returning those that will not be able to go to a good home.
Being a community cat caretaker means heartbreak as being outside can cause them to come to harm in an accident or predation, unfortunately. I fully believe that cats should be indoors only if they’re pets, only allowed outside in a catio or cat-proof fenced area, or on a leash, as you said. But when they’re born wild like Buddy and Daisy were, I simply have to let them be happy instead of 100% safe.
Hello Rochelle. I can see by your article why you chose this subject and your domain name. You clearly love cats. And that love becomes action on their behalf. Buddy sounds like a great cat – loves you and tolerates everyone else. He’s not sure why other cats like him, but allows them to get close without making a fuss. Sounds a lot like my favorite Golden Retriever, Rebel.
Not being a cat person myself, I had to look up the word, feral. So I not only enjoyed your writing, I learned something as well. Good luck on your mission. The world needs many more like you.
Aww, thanks so much for your kind words!
Such a lovely story I must say you’re really lucky to have these cuties, and I hope you find Boots and Crackhead soon. I must say a big thank you for bringing to our notice the danger of Upper Respiratory Infections. My cat Ivy is so soft and can’t hardly face ailment. I often go for her check-up every month and I would ask the vet to be observant of this problem in case it occurs. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your kind words. You don’t often need to worry about Upper Respiratory Infections if you have no other cats and only have an indoor kitty. They’re simply contagious between cats, like a cold.
You are doing a fantastic job fostering barn cats! They need a home, food, and love. And they will appreciate all the love you give to them.
I love Buddy’s story and how you rescue him from being sick.
Every cat has a different personality, habit, taste of food. We (humans ) need to know how to read the message sent by cats.
My daughter lives in-country and has two barn cats: white and black color. They came from somewhere and stayed in her place. At first, they were scared of everything but, now they become house cats, like to be inside the house. They like to follow my grandson and me everywhere, sometimes they are on my way, but it doesn’t bother me. White cat likes to catch mice, birds and bring by the door. Is Buddy doing the same way? I keep telling my daughter that it is a little bit dangerous. Do you think the same way or do you think it is OK?
Yes, Buddy loves catching mice. Birds are much rarer. It’s not exactly dangerous if he’s not eating them. If he’s eating them, he will get parasites like worms, but that’s easily taken care of. If he’s attacking raccoons or skunks, that’s more dangerous as they often carry rabies. Rats can cause bad bite wounds. But unfortunately, if you have a barn cat or outdoor cats you care for, this is something that we have to deal with. Even the most well-fed cat will hunt mice. As long as he’s being fed, he isn’t likely to be eating his kills as much, which is good.
Since childhood I have had different breeds of dogs and in the last 15 years several kittens lived in my home. I love the Daisy and their brother Buddy that you also take care of.
They are angels who take care of you and love you as much as you do. Many times I think that animals are better than people. I must also tell you the suffering that causes us when they leave for another world.
Thank you for sharing your feelings with us.
Thanks so much for your kind words!
This story is sooo cute! My cat HATES my dogs though. So please make more. Oops, my cat just knocked over the flower pot. ^_^
Aw, thank you!