After years on his own, Bubby now has the forever home he deserves.

three-legged cat laying on back
Credit: Courtesy of Sarah MacLeod

Although Canadian cat Bubby has had a difficult life, he’s been lucky enough to be loved by two wonderful families. Bubby was adopted by rescue volunteer Sarah MacLeod in January, but what we know of his story actually begins in 2012.

In 2012, Bubby showed up in Boyd Abbott’s kitchen in central Newfoundland. Abbott had been putting food out for another stray cat and was surprised by the three-legged visitor. “That fateful day, a friendship began between a man and a 3-legged cat,” MacLeod says in a Facebook post

The cat started regularly showing up at Abbott’s house. “His visits grew longer and he soon claimed his own chair, a set of dishes and was given the name Bubby,” the post says. Although Abbott wanted to bring Bubby in as a permanent member of his family, Bubby always demanded to return to wandering outdoors.

Over the next five years, Abbott and Bubby formed an incredibly special relationship. “He didn’t trust people by nature, but he bonded with the man,” MacLeod says in the post. Abbott’s daughter Rhonda Wiseman told CBC that she thought Bubby was her dad's “reason for getting up in the morning, making sure he was OK.”

Unfortunately, Abbott passed away in 2017. His family knew that it was important to him that Bubby be looked after. However, Bubby visited the house only once after his death and never returned.

Bubby's Happy Ending

Little is known about Bubby’s story in the two years after Abbott passed away. But in the summer of 2019, the sweet orange kitty was spotted hanging around Abbott’s house again. Seeing that Bubby was slowing down and would struggle to survive much longer on his own, cat lover Ray Pinsent set out to catch him

Pinsent asked the new owner of Abbott’s home to call him day or night if Bubby ever returned. The very next day, the phone rang.

Pinsent brought Bubby to Exploits Valley SPCA, where MacLeod volunteers, last December. The organization wrote on Facebook that Bubby was dehydrated and weak, having just weathered a bad winter snow storm. Staff feared he wouldn't survive the next storm, so he started his road to recovery in the shelter.

“I was home for Christmas when Bubby was brought in, and the staff at the shelter kept saying to me, ‘wait until you see the new cat, you’re going to love him,’” MacLeod says. They were definitely right. “I have a thing for sad cases, and Bubby was the saddest,” she says.

When MacLeod first met Bubby, she says he was nervous and curled up into a ball at the back of the kennel he was kept in. As they spent more time together, Bubby eventually warmed up to her. MacLeod says she was drawn to his sad eyes and inspired by his strength to live outside for so long despite all he had gone through in life.

MacLeod posted a photo of Bubby to the SPCA Facebook page looking for any information about the cat. Wiseman, eager to be reunited with her father’s favorite stray, reached out and asked if she could visit him. “Rhonda told me of his incredible bond with her Dad that lasted from 2012 to 2017,” MacLeod says.

Wiseman says that seeing MacLeod and Bubby’s relationship begin to flourish reminded her of her dad's bond with the feline. After recovering at the shelter, they decided MacLeod would foster Bubby at her home, away from the hustle and bustle of the rescue. However, he quickly won MacLeod and her boyfriend over.

“I wanted to be the one to give Bubby his retirement home,” MacLeod says. “After all he lived through, I wanted to make sure that he would be loved and spoiled for the rest of his days.”

Now in his golden years, the senior cat is enjoying the comfort of his new home and the affection of his new parents. And to make this an even happier ending, Wiseman continues to visit Bubby. “She told me the other day that she’s got his Christmas gift already,” MacLeod says.