Caturday felids: A very old moggy and some record-holding cats

March 16, 2013 • 4:44 am

A cat who lives two decades is a rarity, but this week I came across a BBC News item about Wadsworth, a cat in Bedford who, despite having been the runt of his litter, just turned 27:

Former landlady Ann Munday, from Wentworth Drive, acquired a “very poorly” cat she called Wadsworth, from a vet in De Parys Avenue in 1986.

With the vets’ help she said she nursed him back to health and “he has gone from strength to strength”.

The surgery, which moved to Acorn House in Brickhill, and still treats the cat, has verified his age.

Mrs Munday said her cat, known as Waddy, “is not as active as he was”.

Since he was taken on by Mrs Munday, the cat, who was named after the beer of a similar name, has lived at the Horse and Jockey public house before moving to The Blacksmith’s Arms, both in Ravensden.

Now in a house he leads a quieter life and “doesn’t really play any more”.

Mrs Munday said: “He’s like a little old man really, he gets up, goes out, comes in, has his food and then goes back to sleep.”

Senior cat Wadsworth, chillin'
Senior cat Wadsworth, chillin’

I don’t know where Ravensden is in Britain, but any reader who goes to the Blacksmith’s Arms and is photographed with Waddy and a pint will get an autographed book. (The pub-dwelling cat was clearly named after Wadsworth ale.) Now to what do they attribute his long life? Noms, of course!

Mrs Munday said he is “a bit of a fussy eater” but will eat cat food, although he is partial to a bit of fresh chicken or fish.

“If I get fish and chips I always get him a bit of fish – he doesn’t like the chips,” she said.

Wondering if this was near the record for cat longevity, I did a bit of research and found that in fact the world’s oldest cat, one “Creme Puff” from Austin, Texas, lived an astounding 38 years and 3 days. As Wikipedia notes, Jake Perry, his owner, had a hand with cats, and again their longevity seems attributable to noms! They even drink coffee, as you’ll see in the video below.

Creme Puff (August 3, 1967 – August 6, 2005), was a female cat who died at age 38 years and 3 days. She was the oldest cat ever recorded, according to the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records. . . ..

Perry also owned Granpa Rexs Allen, who was claimed to have been born in Paris, in 1964 and died 1998, aged 34 years and 2 months. Granpa was posthumously awarded 1999 Cat of the Year by Cats & Kittens magazine. Granpa was featured in an earlier edition of Guinness World Records. The co-authors of at least one book have pondered whether the longevity of Perry’s cats may have had something to do with an unusual diet of, among other things, bacon and eggs, asparagus, and broccoli, concluding that Perry “must be doing something right.”

Here’s a 9.5-minute video of Jake Perry and some of his many his cats. It’s lovely—watch it! You can see Perry cooking breakfast for the cats; Granpa, a Sphynx, makes an appearance; and record-holder Creme Puff finally shows up at 7:23, looking very good for 35!

You can find other amazing cat records here. Two for your delectation:

  • By 1952, Dusty, a Tabby moggy from Texas had given  birth to a total number of 420 kittens in her lifetime.
  • Eighteen toes is the normal number for cats. A five year old moggy from Ontario, Canada is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most toes. Jake has a total of 27 toes.Unofficially Mooch who lives with his owners Bob & Becky Duval in Maine, USA  is the winner having  28 toes. Mooch’s owners have submitted evidence to the Guinness Book of Records, watch out Jake!!! In July 2010 I was contacted by Rory who had written an article on Bandit, a cat with 29 toes.

Here, from, is Bandit with his 29 toes.



14 thoughts on “Caturday felids: A very old moggy and some record-holding cats

  1. Wow! Late thirties, I didn’t know cats would live that long. It’s so sad that Jake is a wooist, I hope he gets well soon, he seems like a respectable person.

  2. If cat’s had a good lawyer perhaps they could sue the cat food companies, who like the tobacco companies, actively promote products for profit and claim they are healthy, while it appears their products are actually responsible for the early deaths of hundreds of millions of cats. Science cats must do more research, bring home more evidence.

    Kittehs can haz cat action lahsoot?

  3. I rather like the idea of a pub landlady calling her cat “Wadsworth”. This is the name of well known brewery based in Devizes (of limerick fame!)

  4. …and again their longevity seems attributable to noms!

    I remain skeptical. Statistically there have to be some extreme outliers on the distribution curve of kitty longevity. And if you ask the owners of those cats, of course they’re going to want to take credit for it, attributing it to something they did. That doesn’t mean we should take such attributions seriously.

    I’m reminded of the joke in which the world’s oldest man is asked, “To what do you attribute your long life?” He replies, “To the fact that I haven’t died yet.” In many cases that’s really about all you can say.

  5. Waddy’s food preferences are interesting considering my recently deceased cat Little One was at least 20 years old and mostly ate home fried chicken wings. Though unlike Waddy, he enjoyed the fries when we had fish and chips, along with the breaded fish. Really anything salty and crunchy… potato chips, popcorn…

  6. My cat Jezebel (white and ginger) is 20. Looks as if she could be with us a bit longer! (I’m in UK but Bedford not easily reached – have to pass on that one, although Wadsworth’s is usually a nice pint)

  7. I don’t know about the cats, but a local vet once told me that when he started out a 10-11 year old dog was regarded as ‘old’. He now has many healthy patients over 16 years old (my dog is 14 or 15). He attributes this to the increase in quality of commercial dog food.

  8. My Annabelle liveed to be 22. The vet said she was the oldest cat they’d had in the clinic. She was a good friend. Stone deaf for about the last 5 years of her life.

  9. Here’s another great cat video for you to post this Friday!

    “CatCam of Mr. Lee” from the PBS 2013 Film Festival. Mr Lee won the “Little Hans” award too.

  10. Thank heaven for people like Mrs. Mundy.

    It’s great to hear stories like Waddy and Cream Puff. Our oldest cat lived to 19 years passing away in 2011, we still miss her. Mischka was a minature Russian Blue.

    Our cat now is George 8 years old a Ginger White but answers mostly to Sweetie Pie


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