The story of our company’s namesake…
Cages were stacked on top of cages at the Animal Control Center. Each cage contained a single feline. Old, young, shy, frisky. We could take our pick.
My son Mike and I were there to find a little kitten, a baby. We spotted a cute baby kitten in a cage that was about waist high. When Mike kneeled down and pointed at the kitten, a black cat in the cage below reached up and pulled Mike's hand down to him.
It was fate. From all the people who had visited the Animal Control Center, this black cat definitely selected Mike to take him home. We called the back cat Bubba. (aka BTC, Bubba the Cat)
That was about ten years ago. We guessed that Bubba was about a year old when he selected Mike. Though Bubba has not said much about his experiences before the cage, we know that the last years have been fairly miraculous.
If you look closely at Bubba, you'll notice a little notch in the top of his left ear. He earned that rakish look by surviving a brush with death at the paws and jaws of the neighbor's half wolf hound.
On New Year's Eve about a year later, the same wolf hound tried to wring out the old cat. Poor Bubba almost lost an eye. When the vet finished sewing him up, it was about midnight. So I kissed Bubba and wished him and the vet a Happy New Year.
Those were the good years for Bubba.
My wife and I were on vacation when we got an emergency call from Mike. Bubba had been shot. Someone had shattered his right thigh bone with a bullet. Mike gave us the three options offered by the vet: amputate the leg; putt Bubba to sleep; or try an expensive operation that entailed immobilizing the leg for several months. And the operation may not work.
Of course, we went for door number three. Several days after the operation Bubba came home with a splint that looked like a banana attached to his leg. He became a sedate house cat for three or four months. No running, jumping, climbing, etc. We fruit salad sat him.
Finally, the banana came off. The day after he came back from the vet, Bubba could run and jump and climb and break his leg. And he did all of those things. We had three options: we could shoot him, strangle him, or have the vet perform a very expensive operation that might not work. Since we had been through door number three on another occasion, we felt right at home there.
No bananas, mangos, or pineapples this time. The vet went for the hard stuff. Bubba got a steel plate put in his right thigh. After five or six years, that steel plate is still there. And Bubba runs, jumps, climbs and acts like cats from this planet.
Though Bubba may not be the oldest cat to down a jigger full of Iams, he certainly is the toughest. He's got notches in his ear, and lead in his butt to prove it.
This story was submitted to Toughest Old Pet Contest in 1998.