How a stray, starving cat became my Buddy

Editor’s note: We received this article recently from one of our pet parents and we simply had to share it on this blog. We think you’ll understand why, especially if you  have ever had a pet fall into your life.

By Sally Paige Kahle

When the cat I call Buddy showed up about seven years ago, he was starving.  Thin as a rail, he looked warily at me, trying to size me up if I were a friend or foe.  His gray and black tiger markings are quite ordinary.  After about a year of regular outside feeding, Buddy finally let me get near him.  Eventually he allowed me to pet him very carefully.


One day a car stopped in front of my house in Topeka, Kansas, and a woman asked, “Can you tell me about your cat?”  I explained he was a stray who found a soft touch (me).  She told me that he used to hang outside her house, and she called him Willie.  Not being neutered, he eventually wandered away in search of a girlfriend.

Now, Buddy lets me pick him up and provide him with a lap to sit on.  He follows me around the garden as I work.  He’s quite the conversationalist!  I had him neutered but he still sprays, so he has to stay outside.  He claims the porch as his very own room, and in the winter enjoys a heated mat under a comfy blanket.

BluePearl saved Buddy’s life two summers ago.  He was found unresponsive on a neighbor’s porch on a Sunday morning.  The local emergency vet administered fluids, and in the absence of a diagnosis, started him on antibiotics.  She recommended transfer to BluePearl for its greater diagnostic and treatment capabilities.  Were it not for that, Buddy would have died.

I think every test available was given to Buddy, and nothing was entirely conclusive.  Palliative care and lots of drugs were given.  Buddy was very weak for a long time, but he pulled through.  Now, occasionally he might not show up at mealtime, but he’s there the next day.  So I know he’s living his life the way it was meant to be for him.

When I occasionally have to correct him, like when his sharp claws prick me as he “kneads” his paws on my lap, I say, “No, Buddy.”   My eyes well up with the likeness to “Nobody.”  He almost was a nobody.   Now he is my Buddy.