Venanzi was the Blue Pearl emergency veterinarian who worked on the critically wounded cat when he was brought to her facility from the PSPCA.
Venanzi sees lots of animals in her work, but there was something special about Buddy even from the beginning. He reminded her of Chloe, her own cat she'd lost to cancer a few months before. Like Chloe, Buddy was full of spunk, even as sick as he was.
"He was barely responsive that night he came in, but if you moved him the wrong way, he would growl at you." the vet said. "That was how we knew, 'Oh, he's going to be OK.'"
Still in mourning for her late Chloe, Venanzi hadn't been looking for a new addition to their household. But her husband suggested she might want to foster her special patient.
So a week later, Buddy moved in. The couple gave their new houseguest his space. Maybe he wouldn't like living indoors, Venanzi worried. Maybe he wouldn't like living with people.
That's not how it's worked out.
"He's so, so, so loving," Venanzi said.
Buddy started purring up a storm. He hit it off fine with Teddy, the Venanzis' younger cat, and he quickly got the hang of batting around all the cat toys his many fans had sent him. And while he did enjoy looking out windows now and then, he didn't seem all that interested in the great outdoors.
And although he has his own sleeping space in a spare room, the former alley cat of late seems to have discovered that bedding down with humans clearly has its charms.
His doctor, meanwhile, found her own broken heart mending a bit quicker than expected.