Since this article was originally written, Buster has passed away. Join in the remembrance of this amazing cat. He was, above all, quite a character!
When Buster moved to his current house, he got outside before he knew the area. He disappeared for a while. The SPCA was notified, posters were put up, neighbors were notified, Craig's List was used. Nothing worked for a long time. Eventually, Buster was spotted under a hedge a half mile away. With some food, he was coaxed back into the family. He was away for 6 weeks and had lost over 6 pounds. He knows where he lives now and is back up to a heavy weight of 20 pounds.
Winter is here now. Buster has grown a thick, luxurious coat. He spends a lot of time in the house, though. When he is out in the yard, he stays under cover most of the time. In fact, even in heavy rain and snow, Buster is always dry and clean. His throat is always bright white. No longer a wanderer, Buster is content to go between the house and the wood shed most days. While he was often down in the back ravine, we don't see him over there now. Maybe it's just too wet and dirty for him right now. He might have been getting water from the creek in the summer. Now there is water everywhere so it's really close to the house. Buster seems to like that.
One interesting thing that he did: each day the cat would leave our yard and go wandering in an adjacent woods. A page wire fence with 8 inch by 8 inch squares separated our yard from the woods. The cat would stop at the fence and then jump through a particular square. He used the same spot each time. Over the course of many months, the wire around the hole became ringed with his orange hair. Despite being rather large at the time, he always managed to make it through.
When he was prowling around, he often would stay away for a couple of days at a time. He always returned. His long fur would get matted up. He would rip clumps of his own fur out while grooming. This would return his coat to a new condition. Despite the dust and dirt that he walked through, the white fur was always glistening.
In time, Buster began to lose some of his orange coloring. The fur was noticeably lighter. It would also come out quite a bit. Still, it remained long and attractive. He was quite distinctive with his orange and white coat. Even when he was quite old, he was still attractive.
Summer 2011 Buster update: Buster continues to enjoy his life on Vancouver Island. He shows little sign of aging, except for lightening of the orange color of his fur. He is an early riser, preferring to wake up at first light. He sleeps well. He has made friends with a local raccoon and doesn't seem to understand that the creature should not be encouraged to stick around.
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People Left Comments for Buster
When this article was first published, it gathered quite a few comments. Many people were impressed by the large ginger cat.
"We had a cat that did that", wrote one person, in response to the head bumping.
"What else would he use?", wrote someone, noting that the cat can't use a fist.
"Sounds like a wonderful cat! Thanks for sharing!"
"Cute story about Buster the wandering cat. Thank you for sharing it."
"Buster looks like a sweety."
I could show some pics of my own Buster - my Husband and your cat share the same name :)" "Hi Buster, You Are Cuteeeeeeee. My cat Tigger used to do the same thing with his head. I still remember when he knocked over my cousin Travis...when he was a baby."
How Was He Named?
I never named the cat. He was already known by his given name. It suited him well, though. In his whole life, we never knew another cat with the same name. There was, however, a small dog with the same name. They never met.
Buster was a great mouser. He would capture them often. He also hunted for rats and was able to tackle the biggest ones. Even when he was extremely large, he had the ability to hunt. I once saw him study a patch of ground on the far side of a ditch. Suddenly, he launched himself over the ditch.
He had attacked a mouse in broad daylight with his leap. When he came down on top of the animal, he was in pretty dense brush. He then searched under his body to find the mouse. One mouse captured that day.