A blind cat which turns 29 next month and was born a hermaphrodite before surviving a house fire is believed to be one of the oldest in the world.
Whiskey was born in a litter of five kittens on September 11, 1985 – the same year Margaret Thatcher was in office, the US and the Soviet Union were in the midst of the Cold War and Bob Geldof’s dual charity concert Live Aid was held in London and Philidelphia, USA.
A cat’s life span is usually between 12 to 15 years, but the world’s oldest ever cat was 38 years and three days old when it died in Texas, USA.
The oldest recorded living cat is reported to be a 27 year old from Yorkshire – giving Whiskey a good claim for the top spot.
Whiskey’s owner Lorraine Arnott, 33, was there at the birth of her treasured pet, whose mother Lady herself lived to the ripe old age of 26.
The tiny kitten had both ovaries and testes at birth, but had a corrective operation later on and is now firmly a male.
Ms Arnott, of Longcroft, Aston Clinton and who is a member of the Cat Lovers of Tring Facebook group, said: “We were going to call him One-Eyed Jack, because when he was born it took a long time for one of his eyes to open.”
Domestic shorthair Whiskey recently survived a house fire after Lorraine’s cooker caught fire while she was out at a car boot sale.
She said: “I came home and my house was filled with smoke. Whiskey is so clever – he had his paws over his face to stop him breathing it in.
“The firemen said it was a fault with the cooker which is now totally unusable, but I’m just so glad Whiskey is OK.”
Lorraine attributes Whiskey’s longevity to his varied diet and although he is now on medication for kidney failure and has to watch his protein intake, he still has tuna as a special treat.
She said: “I don’t need a boyfriend with a cat like Whiskey. As soon as I get through the door, I pick him up and he’s purring instantly.”
Whiskey is registered with Aston Clinton Veterinary Surgery, which confirmed his age as 28 – which would be 128 in cat years – and he is one of the oldest moggies they treat.
Do you know an older cat? Call 01296 619762 or email reporter Becca Choules.