Posted by: Kimberly J. McCloskey | January 15, 2011

Big Bad Buford


Big Bad Buford started out as just a little guy dumped in a field, who made it across a major road to a restaurant (food was extremely important to him even back then), where he lived on handouts and leftovers for a bit of time. Friends of ours befriended him and decided to bring him to their property as a barn cat. But since he was still so little, the plan was to keep him in a dog kennel for a few days until he got his bearings.

Well… I never could stand to see a cat in a cage, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of this little itty bitty kitten (I believe he was three months old at the time) learning to live by himself among horses and cars and tractors and hawks and raccoons… well, you get the picture. And he was just so cute! He was a lover and just wanted to be held.

Ultimately it was mutually decided (by the barn owners and my hubby) that Buford could come home with us. It was around this time that I realized he had a wound on his throat. It looked like a hole and had green nasty ooze coming out of it. It wasn’t real pleasant to look at (go figure), so of course a trip to the vet was the first order of business. Upon examination it was discovered that Buford actually had two wounds, the second one being on the side of his neck, near his shoulder.  Very odd.  But our vet solved the mystery for us… Buford had maggots. Well, that wasn’t the technical terminology, but when it came down to it, that’s what it was.

It turns out that flies like to target small, young animals (and those that are confined) to lay their eggs. Of course, their eggs eventually hatch, and well, you’ve got maggots. In Buford’s case they were Bott flies or Wolf flies (we heard different variations) and there was one maggot per hole. But I’ll tell you what… those were some big maggots! The holes in Buford’s neck were the size of a pencil eraser, I mean, you could stick the cap end of a pen into his neck if it weren’t a cruel thing to do… and the maggots were just as round!!! The length of the one our vet showed us was about as long as my pinky nail… I kid you not. It was like a mutant maggot from some 1950’s horror flick.

So Buford was sent home with antibiotics and ointments… oh joy, what a way for a kitten to start his new life at The Cat Spa… with medications!

Keep in mind, Readers, this was also the first actual kitten we have had since, well, Miles… 17 years earlier. What a rude re-awakening we had! After Buford got comfortable in our home and with the other kitties and recovered from his “maggot neck”… he turned into The Flying Squirrel. It had been so long since we’d had a kitty with that much energy bouncing off the walls…and the furniture and the countertops. He was non-stop crazy for the next four or five months!

He did continue to be a sweet little lover-boy to us humans, when he was sleepy — but a boy he was, and all he wanted to do was wrestle with the other kitties. Unfortunately, the other kitties were Angel and Natasha-Fuzzy, and much older, and they didn’t want anything to do with him. You could say our house was not in harmony for quite a while.

The name “Big Bad Buford” came from his desire at an early age to rule the house. He was quite brutal sometimes with Angel and Fuzzy, as alpha cats will sometimes be. But it was amusing, on some level, that he knew right away he wanted to be “boss”. Like he knew he was going to turn into a big, muscular boy and needed to assert his authority early. And then the name “Big Bad Buford” turned into something more sarcastic because we brought home someone that intimidated him, Weaver. And we also realized that Buford is the second biggest scaredy-cat we’ve ever had, but those are stories for another time.


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