At the age of 25, is this Britain's oldest cat?


Claire Gallagher

IS this the oldest cat in Britain?

At the equivalent human age of 117, 25-year-old Jess isn’t doing badly at all.

Apart from losing his ‘meow’ and being deaf, the moggie is still enjoying a cosy family life.

And Jess’s owners, from Stanley Road, Ponciau, think he could be one of the oldest cats in the country.

Tracey Derry rescued Jess, named after Postman Pat’s cat, from Hightown when he was a kitten.

“He was being battered around a garage, was abandoned and had broken ribs,” said Tracey.

And Jess, who is the same age as Tracey’s son, Ricardo Taraborelli, has certainly lived to tell the tale. “He is spoilt rotten and rules the house,” said Tracey.

“He is quite a character and is friendly and is protective of the family.” Tracey says when the family go on holiday, Jess gets into their suitcase and refuses to move.

“It’s funny because the kids have grown up now and when their friends come around and see Jess, they can’t believe he is still here,” she said.

“I’ve had a look on the internet to see the age of other cats still alive and some are 23 or 24 years.”

The oldest cat documented by the Guinness Book of World Records is Creme Puff, of Austin, Texas, who lived to 38.

Tracey described Jess as a bit of a “hard knock”, who would fight other cats and even dogs on occasions.

But now Jess has reached his quarter-century, he stays indoors most of the time.

“It’s too cold for him outside now,” said Tracey. “He stays in the house and likes to sleep in the bedroom.”

Jess enjoys sleeping on the shoulder of Tracey’s husband, Mike.

The moggie has been through a fair few adventures, too.

About 15 years ago the family went on holiday, leaving Jess in the care of friends, but he went missing.

“We put posters up all around the streets and then he came home,” said Tracey.

“We joked that he must have read the posters.”

Jess, whose favourite foods include ham, chicken, spaghetti bolognese, mashed potato, gravy, cheese and chocolate, has only been to the vet about four times in his life. But before Christmas, Jess was ill with a kidney infection and Tracey feared the worst.

“He wasn’t eating and he was suffering and I phoned the vet. It’s as if he heard me saying he wasn’t eating and the next thing he started eating again.”

Feline Facts:

  • The average life expectancy of an indoor cat is nine to 15 years.
  • Himmy, who lived in Cairns, Queensland, is the heaviest recorded cat, weighing in at nearly 47lb.
  • Mr Peebles, a two-year-old domestic cat from Illinois, holds the Guinness Book of World Records award for the smallest living cat. He weighs about 3lb and is just over 6in high.
  • A cat’s heart beats at 110 to 140 beats per minute.
  • There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.
  • During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens.
  • A cat will amost never "meow" at another cat – this sound is reserved for humans.
  • The most popular cat names include Molly, Charlie, Tigger, Poppy, Oscar, Millie, Daisy and Jasper.
  • 95 per cent of owners admit they talk to their cats.

Do you own or know of an older cat than Jess?

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