Date of birth: January 6, 2006(ish).
We bought a house in the country in September of 2006, and before we’d actually closed on the house, a little black cat, clearly nursing kittens, showed up here. That was Maxi. She showed up here intermittently, and then all the time once she realized there’d always be food and a safe place to sleep for her. Eventually, she showed up with a buff cat, not more than a kitten. We originally thought that he might be the father of Maxi’s kittens, but when I took them to the vet for spaying and neutering, the vet said she was pretty sure he wasn’t fully grown yet, and chances were good that he might be Maxi’s kitten from a previous litter (I have since been informed that there’s no way Maxi could have birthed an orange kitten because [insert scientific reasons], but Newt sure seemed to think she was his mama, and I’m not telling him any different).
A lady who lived down the road wanted to adopt Maxi and Newt; we did take them in to be spayed and neutered for her, and Maxi and Newt went to live down the road for… oh, I think it might have been an entire day before they showed back up here.
(Maxi’s kittens were spayed and neutered and adopted out pretty quickly.)
It was clear that no matter what we’d planned, Maxi and Newt were pretty sure they belonged here. I did say for a few months that “They’re not OUR cats!” but obviously they were. Newt spends as much time inside as the other cats, especially in the winter.
Newt is a very quiet, very sweet boy who doesn’t ask for much aside from a warm place to sleep and food to eat. If he’s inside, he wants to be outside and if he’s outside? Inside, please. I must let him in and out 30 times a day. He loves loves LOVES Maxi, but he’ll put up with the other cats. If Jake wants to rub up against him, Newt’s okay with that. In fact, none of the other cats bother him at all. One thing that I really really like about him is that if he’s outside the door looking in and I open the door, he comes right in. There’s no dithering, no walking part of the way in and then changing his mind, or refusing to come in until I shut the door whereupon he looks sadly through the door at me. If he’s looking like he wants in, he WANTS in, and in he’ll come the instant I open the door.
A note on the names: I needed a name for him other than “The buff tabby,” and I happened to catch the news at some point. They were talking about Newt Gingrich, and I liked the name. That’s right, that poor cat is named after Newt Gingrich.
Newt’s usual nickname is Newtles (which sounds like Noodles, which is also a good name for a cat.)
You can see lots more pictures of Newt over at Flickr.