Duluth Cat Named Baby Crosses the Rainbow Bridge at the Age of Thirty-Eight
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
-- Dylan Thomas
Baby, unofficially the world's oldest cat, died late last month in Duluth, Minnesota at the ripe old age of thirty-eight. By some calculations, that would have made him an astounding one-hundred-sixty-years-old in human terms! (See photo above.)
Owner Al Palusky claims to have rescued him as a kitten way back in 1970 from a group of yobs that had cruelly trapped him in a trash can and were pelting him with firecrackers. Because he did not have any means of independently verifying Baby's age, the Guinness Book of World Records has never recognized Palusky's claim.
Although there is considerable dispute as to which cat holds the longevity record, it has been firmly established that quite a few of them have lived into their thirties. More importantly, as advancements continue to be made in the fields of feline nutrition and veterinary care even Baby's record will be eclipsed sooner or later.
In a 2006 interview, Palusky attributed Baby's longevity to plenty of exercise and an occasional cheese puff. "We're going to make him the beneficiary. He'll outlive us," he predicted. (See Cat Defender post of December 15, 2006 entitled "Minnesota Cat Named Baby Celebrates His Thirty-Sixth Birthday; English Pub Cat Named Daisy Turns Twenty-Two.")
Sadly, Palusky and his wife, Mary, now will have to find themselves a new heir. As for Baby, funeral arrangements have not been announced but hopefully he now will be able to requiescat in pace.
Photo: Al Palusky.