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Remembering Buddy #feralcatday

Today is National Feral Cat Day! Launched by Alley Cat Allies on their 10th anniversary in 2001, National Feral Cat Day is a day to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Release, and celebrate, empower, and mobilize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for feral cats each year.

Remembering Buddy the feral cat on National Feral Cat Day
Buddy in 2009. Clearly my photography skills have improved since then.

In celebration of this special day, we are remembering our favorite feral cat, Buddy. Buddy lived in our yard from 2007-2010. Even though he lived outside and never let us get too close, we considered him a member of our family. We kept him well fed and built a shelter in our yard, which helped him survive winter storms and brutal summer heat waves. My daughter’s bedroom window looked out on the backyard and as a toddler, she would keep watch, alerting me when Buddy returned or left the yard. We would have happily welcomed him into our home, but Buddy was content with life outside.

And then in 2010, Buddy disappeared. Neighbors told me he had moved on and was now living a few blocks over. I searched for him, but never found him. The following year we sold our building and I worried that Buddy might eventually return and find us gone. Two weeks before we moved, I found him sitting in our backyard waiting for breakfast as if he had never left. Of course, I was overjoyed to see him, but quickly realized something was horribly wrong. Buddy had a huge, gaping wound on the side of his neck. From what I could tell, it was an old injury that had become infected. With the help of a few neighbors, we trapped him – this took several days as even in his weakened state, Buddy was very trap smart.

We brought Buddy to Treehouse Animal Society’s Clinic where are worst fears were confirmed. His injuries were horrific and his wound extremely deep (the vet described it as the size of a human fist) and infested with maggots. Because of the depth and severity of his injury, the vet believed it was sliced on a fence, broken window, or possibly intentionally with a knife. Buddy was in agony and after several huge helpings of food, was humanely euthanized.

National Feral Cat Day October 16, 2016

Although Buddy’s story ended tragically, I am grateful that he returned to us when he needed help – and I do really believe this was intentional on his part.  Had he returned a few weeks later, we would have been gone and he would have suffered and died alone. In honor of National Feral Cat Day, I am remembering Buddy and entering him in the Cat on My Head’s Sunday Selfie Blog Hop.

How are you celebrating National Feral Cat Day? A great way to spread the word about helping community cats is by sharing your stories on social media #feralcatday. If you would like more information on Trap/Neuter/Release, please visit Alley Cat Allies. Steve Dale also has an amazing post on feral cats, which I highly recommend reading and sharing.


  1. Yamini MacLean
    October 16, 2016 / 8:56 am

    Hari OMOh yes, cat's "know"… you were Buddy's angel. Blessings, YAM xx

  2. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    October 16, 2016 / 9:34 am

    What a handsome boy. He knew he was loved – as every cat deserves. Thank you for sharing his story.

  3. Emma
    October 16, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Such a sad ending for a sweet kitty. At least he had a few good years with you all helping him out.

  4. Brian
    October 16, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Buddy was super special and knew you cared. Ferals are super special. Our Feral Day post got delayed because the dad was doing the TNR thing.

  5. Erin the Cat
    October 16, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Oh my, how this must have upset you all. But he had your love, and all the goodness of friendship, and that is a gift, for sure that is a blessing when you are in need. purrs ERin

  6. tubby3pug
    October 16, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Poor dear buddy thank you fir caring for him

  7. The Swiss Cats
    October 16, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Buddy is lucky to have met you, and he knew it. Purrs

  8. Molly and Mackie
    October 16, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    Poor Buddy. Bless you for taking such good care of him♥

  9. speedyrabbit
    October 16, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    What a handsome fellow,thank you for looking after him,xx Speedy

  10. Bocci
    October 16, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    Oh, what an amazing and tender story. We're grateful that Buddy returned to you in his last days. Thank you for all you do for animals, Kristen and family—we all owe you a huge debt.

  11. Flynn
    October 16, 2016 / 6:15 pm

    That is a very sad story for Buddy. He knew you had cared for him and knew to come back again when he needed your help.

  12. Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady
    October 16, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing Buddy's story and caring for him when he was alone. He knew love. May all feral cats be as lucky.

  13. Anonymous
    October 16, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    **snuffullsss** *wipes tearss frum eyess*Oh What a story about deer Buddy Kat…..LadyMum said shee felt this way about her feral boy "White Pawss". Sadly shee had to move away an nevurr new if hee survived….As fur Buddy you were put inn thee rite place to help Buddy an hee new at thee end hee was LUVVED!!!Fab story an selfie!!!***paw patsss*** Siddhartha Henry an {{{hugs}}} LadyMum

  14. Madi and Mom
    October 16, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    Oh no…we are sorry however happy to read that Buddy knew the touch of kind hands and loving humans before he passedHugs madi and mom

  15. Dory and the Mama
    October 16, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    What wonderful angels Buddy found in you and your neighborhood….

  16. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    October 16, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    We wish people would be more responsible with their cats, so that there were no ferals having to live dangerously. Hats off to the trap-neuter-release people for helping them.

  17. The Island Cats
    October 16, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Buddy was so lucky to have humans like you caring for him.

  18. Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows)
    October 16, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    What a sad ending for Buddy. But because of you he was cared for and knew he was loved!

  19. Bobbi and Gracie
    October 16, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    Aww what a sweet angel you were to Buddy. That is so wonderful that you had not moved yet and that you were there to help him in his last days. He was a beautiful boy…

  20. Lola The Rescued Cat
    October 16, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    Buddy was so lucky to be a part of your family. Thank you for sharing his story with us.

  21. Lola The Rescued Cat
    October 16, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    Buddy was so lucky to be a part of your family. Thank you for sharing his story with us.

  22. pilch92 15andmeowing
    October 16, 2016 / 11:28 pm

    Buddy's story is so sad like so many ferals. At least he was loved. Thanks for spreading the word. My Brody was a feral and was going to be euthanized because he had wounds so I agreed to keep him inside. He had surgery on his infected wound and is now a lap cat.He does hide when we have company though.

    October 16, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Buddy came back to you because he knew you would help him out of his misery.I am so sorry that his life ended so abruptly.Sometimes things work out but not the way we hope.I am so glad Buddy knew he could depend on you.

  24. Maxwell Faraday Richman
    October 17, 2016 / 2:21 am

    Oh I'm in tears, reading this. We agree with Abbygrace – Buddy KNEW you would help him, and so he returned. You were there for him – and we're so very sorry ….

  25. Nellie Kowalik
    October 17, 2016 / 2:28 am

    Buddy knew where to go when he was in trouble. He knew that you would make things better for him and even though it was not the end we would have wanted, it was better than him suffering for much longer. Yous guys ROCKS!!!Thanks yous!Many kissesNellie

  26. sprinkles
    October 17, 2016 / 2:28 am

    Buddy's ending made me tear up. I used to feed the feral cats when I lived with my parents, much to my father's chagrin. Slowly, they seemed to have all moved on and I did too.

  27. Kitties Blue
    October 17, 2016 / 3:11 am

    This story has mom crying. She is a raw nerve right now with Fiona not doing very well, and Buddy is a grey cat. We are so happy he returned to get your help and earned his wings as a loved kitty. Thank you for sharing this story with us and those on the hop. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  28. meowmeowmans
    October 17, 2016 / 3:28 am

    While it makes us sad that Buddy was so grievously injured, we are thankful that he knew that you cared. Thank you for sharing his story with us all.

  29. Janet Keefe
    October 17, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    That is such a sad story, but also very heartwarming because of the ways you helped Buddy. Even though he was aloof, he obviously knew where he was cared for. ♥Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  30. Three Chatty Cats
    October 18, 2016 / 3:18 am

    Oh my goodness, what a touching and sad story. But such is the life of so many ferals. He obviously loved and trusted your family. How special that he chose you.

  31. Jean Dion
    October 19, 2016 / 12:43 am

    What a sweet and wise face Buddy had. I wish his life had ended differently, but I love it that your young daughter was part of his care team. We'll need a new generation to continue the work with ferals, so fewer end up like Buddy. Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  32. Andrea @ This Pug Life
    October 19, 2016 / 2:00 am

    Oh, what a sad ending. But I'm glad he came to find you to help him in the end. His ending was much more peaceful than it would have been on the street. 🙁 We are currently feeding 3 ferals and planning on borrowing a trap to get them spayed/neutered and build some shelters for winter.

  33. Dash Kitten
    October 20, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    RIP wonderful Buddy. You knew you were so loved. Fly free still brave spirit.

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