Buddy is a great dad. A really great dad and provider. I’ve known him for 6 years, and watched him do his best to take care of his family under extremely trying circumstances. He looked after his children, took care of their mother and was the utmost in responsible parenting. I’d watch him with his kids as they played in the front yard- always vigilant, but giving them room to grow and explore their world. When two little ones were abandoned literally on the doorstep, he took them in, made them part of his family and cared for them as he had his own children. No distinction. He'd let the kids eat before he did. When Grandma’s family fell on hard times and lost their home in the foreclosure crisis, Buddy took her in, under his protective umbrella and made her part of his family. But he’s that kind of cat.
Literally. Buddy is a grey and white tabby who showed up on my doorstep the summer of 2004. He’s semi feral- lets me come close when I put the dry food out for him and the other regulars, but I can’t pet him. After he fathered 2 litters, I managed to get him, the kids and his lady at the time fixed through a group which used to come out and do trap, fix and release.
The following year, a mother cat came by, saw the happy family and abandoned two small kittens. Unfortunately, at the time, I had my own crew and was in no position to adopt any more felines, and they were skittish- I couldn’t catch them and do a rescue. Buddy took them in. I recall these new additions snuggling up to Buddy and sleeping next to him on the damp ground behind the shady hedges during the hot summer. He accepted them as his own, and shared the kills which supplemented my feedings.
In September 2008, the trashiest family on the block confirmed their white-trash status when they moved out of their foreclosed home in the middle of the night. They took their small yapping dogs, but left Grandma behind- a small black cat of a certain age. She showed up at my place- several houses down and across the street from her former home. Buddy promptly took her under his protective paw, showed her the ropes, introduced her to the other regulars and in general, looked after her. After her abandonment, Grandma is naturally distrustful of humans. She’ll yell at me when I put the food out in the morning, hang out near my door, but its only recently that she will occasionally permit me to briefly and carefully pet her. She can often be found in my backyard, or the hedges- she seems to have decided that my place is now her home. Buddy wanders the neighbourhood- there are other suckers – I mean cat people- who also feed the small group of regulars, but he too often lounges around in front of my door.
Two of my own three personal feline-Americans, whom I adopted in 2006, are the children of at least one of the abandoned kittens, (and I found homes for their two other siblings). They don’t know that Buddy is responsible for their existence- having successfully rescued their mother, but I’m very glad he did.