How old was the oldest cat you ever knew? I’m willing to bet a lot younger than this one.
Lucy of Llanelli, South Wales, with no medical problems except for hearing loss, is 39-years-old, The Daily Mail reported yesterday, which makes her the oldest known cat in the world.
The average feline life span is about 15 years, which puts Lucy at double her life expectancy. Cat experts estimate her age to be the equivalent of 172 human years. The only other cat who comes close to her age was Creme Puff, a Texas cat who died at 38 years and three days.
Lucy’s owner, Bill Thomas, a Llanelli town counselor, inherited her when his wife’s godmother, Maria Lewis, died in 1999. He didn’t realize how old Lucy was until his wife’s aunt came to visit. “She could remember Lucy scampering around Maria’s fish and chip shop when she was a kitten back in 1972,” Thomas said. “We knew she was old – but not that old.”
The aunt remembered Lucy from working at the shop in 1973, when Lucy was three years old. Others have confirmed seeing her in the shop in the early seventies as well. That puts Lucy’s estimated year of birth in 1971/1972.
And Lucy doesn’t look like she’s close to quitting. Other than her hearing loss, she’s in good health and is extremely independent, which Thomas attributes to her age. “She is great with the grandchildren and still likes to patrol the garden every day looking for mice,” he said. “Most of the time she lies in her basket and has a sleep. The kids do wake her up and play with her, but she normally wakes up when she wants to…she’s a bit stiff but she gets up for her food.”
As of right now, there is no entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s oldest cat, a spokesperson said. Lucy may just be the first to find herself entered.
Photo credit: sebilden via flickr