4-23-12 – Newbery Monday

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Newbery Monday.

2012-04-23 (2)

2012-04-23 (1)
“I lubs the MamaPillow.”

2012-04-23 (3)
“What you want?”

2012-04-23 (5)
He looks like a lion cub to me, sometimes.

2012-04-23 (4)
Laying atop Razzie, in my lap.

2012-04-23 (6)
Seriously. Can’t a guy use the litter box without Razzie playing with his tail? (The litter on his nose is cracking me up.)

2012-04-23 (7)
Newbery was the first kitten to discover the “steps” up to the wall basket.

2012-04-23 (8)
“Hmm… seems sturdy.”

2012-04-23 (9)
“Nice view!”

2012-04-23 (10)
“Close to the food and the bathroom, birds to watch out the window. I could live here!”

2012-04-23 (11)

2012-04-23 (12)
Trying to stop Darwin from checking out the wall basket…

2012-04-23 (13)
“See, this here is MY basket. You can’t come up here. MINE.”

2012-04-23 (14)
“You get me?”

2012-04-23 (15)
“Good, she’s backing down…”

2012-04-23 (16)
“That step is mine, too! Get!”

Newbery is the kitten voted most likely to let you pick him up and kiss him on his face several times before he decides he’s had enough. He’s usually the first kitten into my lap (he and Logie are pretty much tied for that right now), and he was the first to discover the wall basket, as mentioned, which makes him Mr. Adventure.

He is such a pretty boy and has the softest, silkiest fur. He’ll also let you get in a belly rub or two before he sinks his claws into your hand and then scrambles to get away. On the down side, he’s OBSESSED with toes and if you don’t keep an eye on him, he’ll sink his sharp little teeth into your big toe before you know what’s going on. I always wear socks into the room, but those teeth are SHARP. Ouch!

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About Spanky

Spanky’s our oldest permanent resident. He’ll be 16 years old in September.

In November 1996, we spent Thanksgiving at Fred’s sister’s house. She had a barn cat who’d had a litter of kittens, and I spent almost all of Thanksgiving day cuddling with one of the kittens. I desperately wanted a kitten – at the time we had two adult cats: Spot and my daughter’s cat Katie, both of whom are gone now. Fred argued against a kitten, and I (eventually) gave up the begging and pleading and whining. Then one day he told me he’d be home late from work, and when he walked into the apartment, he had a tiny white and tan kitten on his shoulder.

As it turned out, he’d decided that a kitten wouldn’t be SO bad, and so he went to a pet store in a nearby mall (this was in 1996, remember, when neither of us had any idea about cat shelters)(boy, didn’t THAT change) and spent some time with the kittens. Spanky had the most personality, so he’s the kitten Fred brought home to me as an early Christmas present.

Spanky was a tiny little thing (I believe he was about 10 weeks old), and we couldn’t get him to eat kibble or canned cat food. We tried giving him chicken baby food, and he ate it like crazy. The next night we tried getting him to eat kibble and again, no interest on his part. But he happened to wander by the spot where we’d given him baby food the night before, and he got REALLY excited and howled and howled at the top of his lungs.

Fred had a recliner that Spot liked to hang out on, and Spanky would climb up the back of the recliner (which seemed to take about 45 minutes) and pop his head over the top, all bright-eyed and “HIIIIII!” You could almost see Spot roll his eyes and sigh.

Spanky’s never cared for snuggling with other cats, but he likes to lay on Fred’s stomach at night when we’re laying in bed.

We don’t have many pictures of Spanky from when he was a tiny kitten (it was before digital cameras), unfortunately.

Spanky (1)

Spanky’s our old man, as I mentioned he’s almost 16. He’s in good shape for an old guy, and I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised to have him with us ’til he’s 20 and older. He is such a good-natured boy, and will occasionally walk around the house howling just to hear himself talk. He gets a couple of extra snacks a day (baby food, because he’s lost some weight in recent years), so every time I walk into the kitchen and rattle some plates, he comes in and gives me the Eyes of Hope.

He hates being brushed (you might get one or two strokes with the brush, but once he realizes you’re brushing him rather than petting him, he zooms off), doesn’t care for having flea and tick preventative put on his neck (you have to do him first, or he’ll figure out what you’re doing, and you won’t see him for two days), and doesn’t have any desire to snuggle with other cats.

Spanky (8)
(Sorry about the small size of the picture) This is a picture of the Old Guard – on the left, Spot‘s in the back, Tubby‘s in the front; on the right, that black cat is Fancypants, and Spanky’s in front of him.

Spanky (2) Spanky (9)

Spanky (12) Spanky (11)

Spanky (3) Spanky (4)

There are lots more Spanky pictures over at Flickr.


2011: Paws up, y’all.
2010: I try to never disturb a sleeping kitten, but boy – they are SO cute and fuzzy, it’s hard not to grab them up and snuggle them!
2009: No entry.
2008: β€œMomma!!! We is HUNGREE!”
2007: I consider it a weekend well spent.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



4-23-12 – Newbery Monday — 31 Comments

  1. Just as I was swooning over bitty baby Newbery, you hit me with the Spanky story?!!! I may or may not have squealed for joy (only Simba could ever tell you for certain). Thank you, Robyn… you know I have a soft spot for the oldsters. I heart Spanky.

    Does baby food help keep the weight on? Norman could stand to gain a pound or three. He is always hungry. I give him 2 servings of kibble a day plus a can of Fancy Feast (which is more than the fat cats get). He seems to have gained a bit since we brought him home from the shelter, but his old man bony hips make me sad.

    • I would actually recommend that you give Fancy Feast Kitten a try for Norman; I think it might do better to help keep (put) the weight on. I usually mix a little scoop of that in with Spanky’s baby food – I’d prefer to feed him straight kitten food, but he doesn’t like the consistency of it, I think. He’ll eat it if I disguise it with baby food, but I have to be careful not to give him too much of it or he’ll turn up his nose.

  2. Is the wall basket a cat thing or is it really just an office supply item? I LOVE the “steps” and the basket!!! Boy, the noms are getting so big. Loved hearing about your old boy. I have an old girl, too, she will be 17 at the end of September. I hope to have her to 20, too.

    • I have a calico that will be 18 at Thanksgiving. She’s been with me since she was about three months old. The vets can’t believe she’s as old as she is, because she still grooms herself very well and is in good shape except for a touch of arthritis in her hips. She does the keening-and-carrying thing that Miz Poo does, and sometimes goes to a room by herself and warbles (we say she’s testing the acoustics).

      • My Einstein made it to 18. She got more vocal as she got older… just wandering the halls and singing in various tones. We always said she talked just to hear the sound of her own voice. But as we thought about it, she was probably doing just that… singing in a place where her voice echoed more when her hearing wasn’t quite as good as in the old days.

        • That’s so sweet and yet kind of sad! So my Gabby girl is really just doing a version of Pink Floyd: “Hello, is there anybody out there?”

          And I do think sometimes that her hearing isn’t what it used to be, so your explanation makes perfect sense.

  3. Spanky is my favorite. He reminds me of the semi-feral, un-neutered, wild tom cat that adopted me 2 years ago. His name was Oreo. Good times, good times.

  4. I lubs Newbery! I think I have found me new screensaver with some of these pics. If I weren’t so far away I’d scoop him up in a week or two when you are ready to part with him.

  5. The picture of Newbery on top of Razzie in your lap is hilarious. “‘Razzie,’ you say? Don’t believe I’ve ever seen a ‘Razzie’ round these parts. You should just pet me and stop worrying about your imaginary friend ‘Razzie.’ Pay no mind to any muffled meowing you may imagine you’re hearing, and just pet me.”

    Btw, I have to say that I love the fact that you’ve spelled Newbery’s name the right way. I once read an online news article on a well-regarded news site – I don’t remember which one it was, but I remember being shocked that such a big and established name in the news industry would refer, repeatedly, to Neil Gaiman having won the “Newberry” award for The Graveyard Book.

    I like the Catception picture of Spanky, but the angle on the pic right next to it is making me a bit dizzy. (Or maybe that’s just the dehydration.)

    • I have to admit that I thought it was spelled Newberry, it wasn’t ’til Catsy politely corrected me that I realized there was only one r. I’ve seen the seal a million times, and I never ever noticed the correct spelling!

  6. Spanky sounds just like my Atticus, who’ll be 14 in June. Pretty much down to the low tolerance for other cats, brushing and Eyes of Hope when drawers open in the fridge.

    And Newberry? Yeah. Atticus as a kitten. Mr. Adventure…

  7. I love that pic of Spanky look straight up at you, with those sunkissed whiskers. He has attitude and he’s not afraid to use it! That and the one of him in a cat bed and giving you the one eye. “Really lady? You got nothing better than to watch an old man sleep?”

        • Actually, no – he’s got a very full lower lip, and he often looks like his tongue is sticking out a bit. Hollywood actresses would kill for Spanky’s lips. πŸ˜€

  8. Oh love and many kisses to Spanky! I heart the seniors too. Still miss my sweet Boo who made it to the grand age of 21… but her portrait is in the kittens’ room so I feel like she is watching over them. πŸ™‚

  9. Oh my… Spanky is a great senior cat!!!! HeΒ΄s so beautiful!!!!
    I love the sequence with the babies.
    Have a nice week pals!

  10. I can’t believe no one has commented on how awesome Fred is to surprise you with a kitten for Christmas. Not that I generally condone kittens for Christmas unless they are well planned and known to be expected and care for their entire life – which we well know was so totally the case with you two..

      • They really are when they’re wanted and loved till they squeak. One year my best friend at the time said “I know what I’m buying you for xmas” and i said “is it little and fluffy and goes meow?” and he looked kinda concerned and answered, “it is now”. and it was! Fox my beautiful boy was with me for only 11 1/2 years but he’s due back any week (yes, cat reincarnation) and i hope he doubles his visit this time!

  11. Yay old kitty! Spanky looks a lot like my very first kitty, Butterscotch.

    I have Kiss, who’s 20 and holding. She’s 5.5 pounds but so fluffy you’d never know until you pick her up and almost toss her. Like the other old kitties, she’s deaf. AND LOVES IT. She was always a skittish creature, but now I can literally vacuum her with the dustbuster! I think I need to do the baby food again, as her weight is scary low even with thyroid medication and constant on demand feedings.
    I love that creature so much. But I want your kittens!!!!!

  12. Spanky is a handsome devil! Such gorgeous eyes! Thank you for his story.

    Yes, there is something about the seniors. My Cagney turned 18 this month. She’s doing well, holding her 9.5 lb weight, but she is now as deaf as a post, which means her meows are very loud. She also has arthritis in her back legs, which means I supply ferry service up and down the stairs of our townhouse. Accupuncture sessions by our vet are helping her some. She’s a fiesty, fascinating little old lady kitty. I hope I can grow old as gracefully!

    Thanks for the Newbery feature – I love the steps sequence!

    • webbthistle and Noelegy, I have been giving Zoey, my 18 year old, Cartrophen injections for several weeks for her arthritis. It’s usually prescribed for dogs, but my vet recommends a 6 week course of 0.15 ml weekly injections for elderly cats with arthritis. It’s not too pricy if you can buy the ampoules of meds from the vet’s and administer it yourself in needles. After 6 weeks I could see a marked improvement, and we’re now doing it every 2 weeks for maintenance. See what your vet thinks.

      Zoey can jump onto and down from my bed, and onto and down from a chair,and her mobility has really improved! She’s also on daily subcutaneous fluids for chronic renal failure, so her needle tolerance has gotten pretty good. She eats well and seems generally happy, so I am very happy too. And the vets think she is a rock star because she is still so feisty and well-kept for a sick old lady cat!

  13. Enjoying the newest feature column. So glad you started it with my favorite, Spanky!

  14. Hey, Spanky, looking good dude. and those kittens just get more squishable every day!