A is for Ailurophile : The Story of Buzzy the Persian Buffalo

Hello I’m Jyllian and I’m a cataholic–or more properly an Ailurophile.

I’ve loved cats for as long as I can remember. I like dogs too, they are nice but cats have always been my favorite animal. They are independent and very much themselves–which makes it meaningful (at least to me) when they love you.

We have five wonderful kitties. There is a lot on here about them and there will be more. THey have health challenges and are kinda strange–but very sweet, full of personality and they really care about us. My boy siamese Bartleby sat by me the whole time after I dislocated my ankle until I went to the ER. Then stayed by my side the week I was out. He’s with me today as I get over food poisoning.

I’ve met and had some difficult cats in my life but I’ve only met one cat I didn’t like. Only one cat ever.

As long as I can remember I’ve been an animal lover. I have often liked them better than most people. I have a picture of myself when I was 2 with a pacifier and a very small fluffy white kitty snuggled next to me. Cat Ballou? Mrs. White cat? I know it wasn’t White Dog ,our outdoor cat who seemed to live in a tree and would only come down for my dad and me. Mrs. Fluffy? Yes that was it. Cat Ballou I’ve only seen pictures of and became an imaginary friend. Yes I was a weird kid. Anyway I love dogs too, but something really clicked for me and cats. Cats are beautiful folk but they are also (usually) smart and often judgmental. I like their mystery, their independence and the fact that when they trust and love you they are giving you a gift, but a gift you had to earn. I used to think I could speak their language, secretly I still do.
I’ve long fancied myself the patron saint of cats. I have helped get feral colonies fixed and medicated. I’ve taken in more strays than anyone probably should. I can never pass a cat on the street without having a chat and perhaps, if allowed, a chin rub. I’ve even stolen and rehomed cats I thought were mistreated. Should I resist the urge to call myself a cat burglar? Ok but do you get the idea? I am devoted to the feline. But one summer, I met my match
This was probably my most favorite summer. It was right after high school. Two of my best friends, who still are by the way, and I moved in together. We sublet a house off Rollston from the son of a friend of my mom. The house was old and a little strange—the bathtub looked like a coffin. The guy we sublet from was a little off too, don’t even get me started on that bag of hair of indeterminate origin we found, and threw away. We were all pretty broke and could barely afford this place between the three of us. It only had two bedrooms. Me being the girl, I got one to myself. Ben and Greg had to share a room, which cut down on their fun that summer. Something that cut down on ALL of our fun that summer, and sleep too was the weird cat that came with the weird house.
Like I said, I’ve long believed myself to be the patron saint of cats. I’d never met a cat I couldn’t find something to love about. Until that summer—until Buzzy the Persian Buffalo. Jim was strange and had an unpredictable temper—as we found out when he discovered that his bag of hair was lost to him forever—and so went his cat. Actually his cat was an asshole. First, Buzzy was ugly. Usually ugly isn’t enough right? I mean he can’t help it. Ugly was just the icing on this cat’s nasty cake. Buzzy had scroungy spiny fur and he wouldn’t let you brush it. His bottom teeth stuck out over his lip in a snaggled underbite. He had bad breath. One ear was bitten off and he never did learn to clean his butt after he got out of the litter box. He smelled. He STANK. Like something moldy, vaguely like feet and certainly like old cheese. Cats are supposed to be clean, but I swear Buzzy gloried in being foul.

Buzzy was also really fat. Not big boned, not pleasingly plump (I have a chubby kitty, there’s a difference) but corpulent. He demanded to be fed constantly. He also sprayed or flung or motor boated into his food in a way that made it go everywhere. Little icky bits of wet cat food all over his face, the floor and the walls. He would wake me in the morning, usually when I was hungover and much too early—by sitting on my chest like some furry, stenchy, monstrosity and emitting this unearthly gargle that ended in a drooling spitting kind of hiss. This horrendous noise would escalate until I feared for the tender flesh of my face and neck. I could totally imagine him going for my jugular like a 22 pound furry draculacat. The only way I could get him off of me was to wheedle “food Buzzy, let’s get some food, c’mon guy, let’s go.” And he’d galumph his gargantuan body off of me, plummet the floor and waddle into the kitchen. If I didn’t move fast enough he’d bite me. Not a nibble, no Buzzy chomped down and left marks, drew blood. He bit me like I was a Persian buffalo appetizer.

It wasn’t just me Buzzy liked to terrify, it was pretty much anyone who came in the house, though I think he took a perverse joy out of tormenting me, the devoted cat slave. Buzzy would swat at you, claws extended, if you walked into his personal space and his personal space was wide, really wide. If he wanted to sit where you were sitting, he’d gnaw on your leg until you moved. You couldn’t pet him or he’d bite you. You couldn’t brush him or he’d bite you. You couldn’t move him or he’d claw you. All of us gave that cat a lot of room .

I’ve never met another cat like Buzzy. I hope to god there isn’t another cat like Buzzy. As I grew up and older and investigated various spiritualties I believe that Buzzy? Well before Buzzy was reincarnated as a porcine, malodorous, loathsome, angry feline with dental issues, he was probably a talk radio host. Or maybe a politician.

5 Comments

  1. I had no idea there was a technical term for being a cat lover.
    And I can testify to the way cats care about us. My daughter had a migraine today, and the cat spent the entire day in her room with her. That never happens otherwise.
    Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to more A to Z goodness!

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