Buddy, the island cat, has been residing on Pigeon Key for over ten years. There have been many tales about why she ended up being left on Pigeon Key, but we do know that she was once the cat of a former employee. Buddy has become a staple to our island life and we are not even sure of her exact age! She lives in our classroom, the Section Gang Quarters, and loves sitting in on our daily historical tours and being greeted by the thousands of people that visit Pigeon Key each year.

Buddy can usually be found napping around the island, hunting the many species of birds that pass through our area, and getting a good scratch behind the ears. Besides the occasional trip to the vet in the town of Marathon, Buddy has not ventured far from the island in the many years that she has lived here. That all changed when the Category 4 storm, Hurricane Irma, came barreling into the Keys. All of our staff evacuated the island and Buddy ended up traveling with one of our Education Coordinators all the way up to Connecticut. Buddy became a house cat for three weeks! Although it was a huge transition, she did pretty well in a new environment.

When the staff was approved to come back to Pigeon Key and start restoring what was damaged after the storm, Buddy came back too! It was quite the adventure for our island cat. Never in a million years would we have expected her to see so many states! She is back to her normal routine of sleeping and greeting tourists, but is looking forward to our education season where the love from our students is endless.

If you want to keep up with both Buddy and Pigeon Key on a daily basis, you can follow our Instagram accounts: @BuddyTheIslandCat and @PigeonKey.