Scaredy cat goes from hisses to kisses

Buddy the cat lying on a chair with stuffed animals behind him
After losing the only caregiver he’d ever known, Buddy learned it is possible to love again.
By Best Friends staff

Imagine living your whole life with one person. Then suddenly, they’re gone. That was Buddy’s story: When his caregiver passed away, the 7-year-old cat lost the only home he’d ever known. Things must have felt so bleak to Buddy. But keep reading — with time and patience, this sweet boy would get a second chance at love.

Learning to trust again

When Buddy arrived at Best Friends’ Houston location, he was very frightened. His body was shaking, and the pupils inside his peridot eyes were as big as saucers. His hisses and growls let staff members know that he didn’t trust them at all.

The Best Friends team understood it would take time for Buddy to come around. They read his body language and respected his boundaries, especially during mealtimes. Caregivers wore protective gloves as they gently set down his food bowl to avoid getting swatted.

[Scared cat who lost everything just needed time]

Despite lots of TLC, Buddy was still painfully shy. One of his staff caregivers, Sophia Proler, thought Buddy would benefit from foster care and offered up her own home. Best Friends’ goal is for all shelters nationwide to reach no-kill in 2025, and people who step up to foster pets, either with Best Friends or any animal shelter or rescue organization, play a vital part in reaching that goal. Not only does foster care offer a safe place to decompress, but it also allows pets to express their true personalities once they’re comfortable in a home environment.

Your best buddy

In foster care, Buddy started making strides, both literally and figuratively. Every day, he got a little bit braver and ventured a little bit farther. Before long, he was exploring all around his foster home, playing hide-and-seek under bedsheets, and even hitting some jazz-worthy notes as he strode across the piano.

[Kitty goes from scaredy-cat to snuggle bug]

Buddy also started allowing people to touch him. And not only did he tolerate affection, he welcomed it. He loved having his chin scratched and being petted from head to fluffy tail. In return, he gave little licks and slow blinks — the ultimate sign of kitty contentment. This smart cookie even learned how to open doors, so he could hang out with his humans.

After several months, Buddy was ready to leave Sophia’s care and become someone’s permanent cuddle buddy. Soon, this sweet, playful, silly cat was adopted and got his second chance at love. Thanks to the kindness of his caregivers, Buddy went from hisses to kisses and is finally home.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill in 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill in 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

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You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

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