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37-Year Old Cat Still Going Strong
Baby was just a tiny ball of black fur when he came to live with Al Palusky and his mother, Mabel, in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1970. Mabel held the kitten for an hour before it stopped shaking, Palusky recalls. It had been rescued after children tossed it in a trash can along with firecrackers.
  "Even now if kids come into the house, he runs and hides," Palusky says of his 37-year-old cat, which he thinks is currently the world's oldest cat. Baby won the oldest cat entry in a recent contest held by Cat Fancy magazine. Palusky's main evidence of Baby's age is a photo of him when he was 3; the photo is dated 1973.
  Baby meows loudly as Palusky talks on the phone, annoyed at not getting attention. When Baby is in the mood, he'll fetch a toy Palusky tosses. Baby is still fast enough to swat flies out of the air.
  Palusky doesn't know why Baby has lived so long. He eats regular cat food and loves table scraps; cheese, steak, macaroni, peas and corn are some favorites. He also likes grass Palusky pulls from the yard.
  Baby has never been outside, Palusky says, which may have helped in preventing the cat from picking up diseases. About the only time he's left the house was in a carrier to see the vet to be declawed at 28. That was when Palusky married Mary, and she wanted to replace the cat-clawed furniture with new furniture and have it stay nice. While Mary was initially scared of cats, she's a big softie with Baby, Palusky says.
  While Baby likes Mary, he won't tolerate other pets. He once chased a Great Dane out of the house.
  Because Baby's dish and cat litter are 14 steps down in the basement, he gets plenty of exercise. He weighs about 9 lbs. and is skinny along the back.
  Baby has received a lot of national media attention in recent years.
  There's just one thing Palusky could have changed. Had he known Baby would live so long, Palusky might have spent more time thinking of a better name.
  You can contact Al by email at: apalusky@charter.net.

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #5