The Race to Be the World’s Oldest Cat Is Heating Up


Part of the problem of being the World’s Oldest Cat is that you might not have your paperwork in order, you might not have filed the appropriate forms with the appropriate agencies, and consequently the whole thing turns into a boondoggle.

That’s what we’re looking at here, in the great World’s Oldest Cat controversy of 2014.

You see, since Poppy — the undisputed World’s Oldest Cat, according to us but primarily Guinness World Records — died this month (bless her soul), two contenders have emerged from the throngs of senior kitties covering this great globe.

In one corner, Pinky. Owned by Ann and Bob Higginbottom of Dunston, Lincolnshire, Pinky is reportedly 28 years old. According to the Daily Mail, the Higginbottoms have documentation — paperwork from early vet visits — that prove her age.

“We got her and Perky when they were just four months old. She is amazing really, completely deaf now as is to be expected, but her eyesight is still as sharp as ever,” said Ann. “She is turning into an old lady now, she likes to sit by our Koi pond and just watch them as they swim about. She isn’t interested in catching them anymore, just likes to watch them.”

Case closed, right? Not so fast. In this other corner, a corner way over in Burton Pedwardine, Amanda and Barry Gray are saying much the same thing: that they have the world’s oldest cat. As evidence, they present Maddie.

According to the Sleaford Target, the Grays say they’ve had her for “a couple of years,” but the previous owner, Lee Sullivan, says she was born in 1990 or 1991.

“We got her as a kitten when I was definitely 11 or 12 years old,” said Lee, which is all the documentation you need, frankly.

Of course, that would make Maddie only 23 or 24, and Perky is reportedly 28, but those are just details in the great World’s Oldest Cat controversy of 2014.

We’d just like to hear more about Maddie, really. According to Sleaford Target, Maddie:

  • Eats a raw egg for breakfast every day.
  • Shares her home with five dogs, two other cats, and a cockerel.
  • Is fearless.
  • Is completely deaf.
  • Has a scratched eye.
  • Enjoys sitting by the fire and sometimes gets too close and singes her whiskers.

“She loves the fire and she meows at us to light it for her,” Amanda said, “She’s got the loudest meow I’ve ever heard.”

“She’s incredible. She’s very affectionate,” added Barry. “But she doesn’t know how to retract her claws. I think she just forgets.”

So, it’s down to two cats, one with paperwork, one who might have been born oh round about 1991, if Lee’s memory serves. It’s anybody’s game, in our eyes.

Ann, however, is not worried: “It would be incredible for Pinky to be recognized as the world’s oldest cat, and as far as we can see there is nothing stopping her being crowned that.”

OK, fine. Pinky is probably going to take it.

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