Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feline her age: Aged almost 24, is this the oldest cat in Britain?


Part of the family: Blackie, showing a little wear and tear, gets a cuddle from Scarlet and Tom Harris

She’s given up chasing mice and can’t see in the dark any more.

But, at the grand old age of almost 24, Blackie is still going strong and is a prime contender for Britain’s oldest cat.

‘I’ve had her since she was just a few weeks old,’ said proud owner Quentin Shaw, 49.

‘I was 25 when I got her and her brother and it feels like 100 years ago.

‘She used to have a black spot on her head and her brother had a brown spot, so we called them Black and Tan.

'She doesn’t hunt now, she can’t see in the dark and if you try to brush her she usually falls over, but she’s very determined and still going strong.’

How many lives? Blackie who will celebrate her 24th birthday next month

Tan was killed when he was hit by a car aged five, but Blackie has battled on thanks to a lot of love and plenty of food.

She will be 24 in January, making her the equivalent of 118 human years old.

She lives with Mr Shaw, his fiancee Kim Lanham and children, Scarlet and Tom, both 11, in Thurnby, Leicestershire.

Miss Lanham, 49, revealed what she believes are the secrets to Blackie’s long life.

‘I think that with animals, when they’re loved, they live longer. She’s part of the family. She’s got a lot of attitude still but she’s amazing with the kids and good natured.

‘She has been poorly, but every time we go to the vet she bounces back. She’s certainly a fighter.’

Tom said: ‘Every night she sleeps under my bed but she does snore.’
Damian Field of the Guinness Book of Records said: 'There is no current holder of Britain’s oldest cat so we would be very interested to hear from Blackie’s owners.’

He said Blackie’s age would have to be verifiable and added: ‘The last oldest living cat was Hestia who died in September in Cheshire aged 21 years and 11 months.’

The average life expectancy of a cat is 16 but the oldest recorded cat was 38 years and three days. It lived in Texas.

source: dailymail

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