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Not on My Watch: Won't You Be My Buddy?

This past January, terrible snowstorms ravaged the southern U.S. Many roads were impassible for at least a week, that was IF anyone could even leave their homes. Undoubtedly many feral and free roaming strays perished from not having shelter and without having access to feeding stations or a friendly handout. One of those cats had a different journey. This is his story:

The brown tabby cat sat huddled, chilled to the bone, inside a cardboard box. The towel that lined the bottom of the box was supposed to help keep him warm, but it was wet from falling snow the day before. He'd never known snow or such deeply penetrating cold. His paws were numb. His breath came out in misty puffs.

He shifted his weight to keep the blood flowing to his feet, but he was unable to get comfortable. He had to stay put or risk losing his territory to the other homeless cats in the neighborhood. At his age, the days were fast approaching where he'd no longer be able to protect his simple home. The many battle scars on his ragged ears were testament to his struggle to survive for as long as he had.

For the past year, he lived on the lawn of a church in Georgia. The church members provided this box for him, as well as food and water. The church members adopted him, in a way, and were all very affectionate towards this rough and tumble looking cat. It was more than most stray cats get, but it was lacking in some ways, too. The church folks felt he was fine as he was, but one of the members didn't agree. He noticed the cat shaking his head, digging at his ears, clearly in discomfort. His coat was in poor condition. He looked like he'd been in fights many times. He could tell this cat needed veterinary care.

He suggested taking the cat to the Vet. The parishioners did not agree and said “he loved it there” and he was “fine”. The cat had food and water and the love of the church. It was enough. They did not want him to intervene, so all he felt he could do was to go to the local home improvement store and buy a big plastic bin that could serve as a more weather resistant home for this lost creature.

That was until this past winter. Warren Royal, whose love and compassion for animals goes beyond simply providing a great home for his own cats. When he and his wife were approached by two stray kittens one night when they were eating at a local pizza shop, they couldn't ignore their plight and ended up not only rescuing these two cats, but have gone on to rescue many others over the years. They do TNR, Trap, Neuter, Return of feral cats. They donate money to cat rescue organizations. They volunteer and give back in any way they can. They are truly a cat's best friend.

Warren was troubled about this cat's future. He contacted me and told me this touching story. He knew if he didn't go against what the church members wanted, the cat might perish. He'd seen it one too many times before. That this cat even survived the past few months out of doors was a feat in and of itself. I made some suggestions and told Warren, I'd be there for him if he needed my help.

©2011 Warren Royal. Best food to trap a cat with: KFC!

A few days ago, Warren and his wife, Terri, rescued the cat. He named him Bruiser due to his rough appearance. They took Bruiser to the Vet and discovered he had already been neutered at some point in his 8 years of life. Most likely he was dumped for one reason or another. Bruiser was also FIV+, which was not really a surprise considering the battle scars he carried. FIV+ can be transmitted through deep, penetrating bite wounds. It was not a death sentence for Bruiser, but the Forsyth Humane Society, who did Bruiser's evaluation, said they could not accept him into their program. This left Warren with a difficult choice, but really, it was no choice. Warren was committed to caring for this cat, so he brought him home, hoping we'd be able to find Bruiser a permanent home one day soon.

©2011 Warren Royal. Bruiser, for now.

Bruiser had ear mites and a bad ear infection. His belly felt hard, but after an ultrasound they determined it was just gas, probably from eating garbage. Sure, he had worms and teeth in very poor condition. Warren didn't turn away. He just paid the bill. Next week Bruiser will get his dental, but for now he's on a good diet and no longer living in a box.

Bruiser lives in his OWN ROOM, away from Warren's other cats. This is a wise thing to do when bringing a new cat into your home-especially one that may have parasites yet to shed. Bruiser has his own, soft bed. Imagine how it feels on his paws. The room is not cold or drafty. His food is always available and out of the elements. And Bruiser, Warren discovered, could not keep his name. Even though he was rough on the exterior, this cat was the biggest love-muffin Warren has ever met.

©2011 Warren Royal. See how affectionate Buddy is with this video from Warren.

It was clear he needed another name, so Bruiser became, Buddy. That's all this cat wants to be. He wants to be your buddy. He wants to rub his head on you or get petted. He's so grateful to be out of that cardboard box and the freezing cold nights, that all he wants to do is spend his days purring and loving his new friends.

Buddy on the carpet copy.jpg
©2011 Warren Royal. Just call him Mr Love Muffin.

Warren knows that he can't keep Buddy. If he does, he can't rescue other cats in need, so Warren is hoping to find a lasting home for this wreck of a cat. His outside may be busted up, but his inside is gleaming with pure affection.

Buddy still needs to have his dental done, but after that he will be ready for adoption. Buddy is an 8 yr old, neutered male tabby with FIV+. He loves people, but we're not sure about other pets just yet. He will be COMPLETELY vetted before he gets adopted. If you'd like to give Buddy a home, or have questions about this lovely cat, please contact Warren directly at:

If you live outside the state of Georgia, transportation can be arranged, so don't let that stop you.

If you know someone who might be interested in Buddy, please share this post with your friends and family! Thank you!

And Thank You, Warren and Terri for being completely awesome-for not giving up on an adult cat who lost his home. I'm proud of you!


What a heartwarming story. I know Buddy's forever family is just waiting for this lovebug. I wish it could be me, but I'm at my kitty limit right now. Please give him a snuggle from me.

I will share this on my FB page and keep him in my prayers. Bless you Warren & Terri for giving him a new lease on life.

Oh thank heavens he was rescued and oh, I can barely stand looking at his before. I could never ever ever allow an animal to live in such an abused way.

I have an elderly cat who is ill or *I* would take him.

God bless all of you who have enabled that precious spirit to live and are looking after him.

What a handsome boy - in a rugged sort of way. It sounds as if he has had a tough go of trying to survive on the streets. I wish I could offer him a home, but with 4 senior girls (2 have health issues) I can't take the chance of taking him in. Besides, he'd have to stay in a room by himself when I wasn't home and he needs a family he can be part of - in all senses of the word.
Bless Warren and Terri for stepping up to help Buddy. Please let us know how things work out.

I know that he's rough from his misadventures, but you can tell that he's such a sweet boy. I have two cats but would love to figure out some way to help this boy out.

-Jason Royal

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