Sparky at her favorite activity
Sparky is our 13 year old black beauty. She's been with us since she was 6 weeks old, and we nicknamed her "Little Miss Sparks-a-Lot" because of her boundless energy. She's changed since then but is still our "Babes". We visited the Animal Clinic and Hospital in May of 1991 in search of a kitten. The clinic had what they called "The Orphanage", which was cats and kittens in need of a home. There was a big cage with a mama cat and about 10 kittens. We discovered that not all of those kittens were her own. Sparky's mother had been too young and either didn't know how to take care of them, or was simply disinterested in the whole thing. At any rate, these poor newborns needed a home and were brought to the clinic. Luckily there was a mother cat and her litter already there awaiting adoption, and the mother took in the orphans as her own.
My kids had their heart set on a "Milo" kitten (from the movie Milo and Otis), and there was one little yellow striped kitten but he was spoken for. Most of the other kittens were black (or close to it) but there was one little runt who was white/black and looked like he had a mustache. That's the one we wanted! The doctor told us that this little fellow had some problems, and might not be able to walk quite normally but they expected him to be alright. So, we signed up to adopt him and name him Sparky, or "Mister Mustache". About 3 days before we were due to go pick him up and bring him home I got a call from the clinic. Mister Mustache had suddenly gotten ill and died. The nurse said there were still 3 or 4 of the younger kittens (whose mother had abandoned them) and we could adopt one of them if we wanted to.
So, back to the clinic we went. They opened the cage door to let the cats out and there was this one little black furball who zipped out ahead of the others and was headed for forbidden territory. The nurse grabbed it and said he was a real livewire and they called him "The Brat". It was an extremely active kitten and I warned my kids that it probably would not be a very cuddly cat. But they had their heart set on "The Brat", so we adopted him and took him back home to Waterford. When the time came to take him in for a checkup and shots the doctor had some rather suprising news for us. He had made an error and Sparky was a girl, not a boy. Oops, Sir Sparks-a-Lot became Miss Sparks-a-Lot.
When she was still quite small, she used a pet taxi as her kitten castle. One day I was cleaning up around it with a Dustbuster and used it to clean inside her "house". She didn't like this at all and evidently saw it as an invasion of her domain because she attacked the Dustbuster with such force it knocked it from my hand! She continued to slap at it until I finally managed to pick it up and put it out of her sight. For years just the sound of that Dustbuster brought her running, ready to engage in combat with it. She's still suspicious about that handheld vacuum but doesn't usually attack it anymore.
To her credit, Sparky has mellowed out somewhat over the years. She used to attack anyone she didn't know. This didn't make her too popular with visitors. We'd usually put her down in the basement to prevent the problem from arising when company came. She doesn't do that very often nowdays. She still seems to be wary of strangers, and sometimes hisses or growls at them but doesn't try to shred their legs like she used to. Like many felines, if she does decide to be friendly and jump up in a lap, it usually belongs to the one person in the room who doesn't like cats
She managed to get her own little "fifteen minutes of fame", by winning an fX pencil. She did this by having her letter read on national tv. With a little help from me, Sparky the wonder cat wrote a letter to the program "Backchat" on the fX TV network. In August of 1995 it was chosen as the letter of the day and for this she was mailed a pencil with the fX logo on it. I sent them back a photo of her with the pencil and they showed it on the air. So, Sparky the wonder cat of Ravenden, Arkansas was famous, at least for a little while.
Her favorite snacks are peanut butter, and cheddar cheese. She also loves bagels.
Sadly, shortly after the last update, our beloved Sparky "crossed the rainbow bridge". As everyone who has ever lost a long time pet/friend knows, it is very hard to have to say goodbye to them. I hope this page can be a tribute to our Babes for a long time, and let others see what a delight she was to have in our family.
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