One of the most common questions people who’ve lived to an impressive age get asked is, “What’s the secret”? The rest of us are very curious to know what it is that keeps a person kicking so long.
For one impressive specimen from Austin, Texas, it was the youthful combination of turkey bacon, dry food, broccoli and a little bit of red wine every two days that kept him going to the grand old age of 38.
Of course, this particular resident was a cat named Creme Puff, who died in 2005. While that’s an impressive age for a cat, the official Guinness World Records entry belongs to a cat named Scooter, also from Texas, who died in 2016 at the age of 30.
Now, another cat from England has impressed people by making it to 31 years. Owner Michele Heritage from Exeter, Devon, was the proud owner of the orange and white Maine coon named Rubble.
“He would have been 32 in May so it was such an achievement,” Heritage said, according to the Daily Mail. “He was an amazing companion that I had the pleasure to live with for such a long time.”
“I got him just before my 20th birthday when he was a kitten. … He was part of a litter cat that my sister’s friend had and I had just left home.”
“I was lonely living on my own so got him in as a kitten. It was in May 1988.”
While Rubble could have breezed past Scooter and claimed the Guinness title for himself, Heritage decided it was too much trouble for a cat his age.
“We never went down the route of Guinness Book of Records,” she said. “I didn’t want to do that given his age. The record wasn’t of interest to us.”
Last year, Heritage knew when her cat’s time was coming to an end and told her husband that Rubble would probably leave soon.
“He grew old very quickly towards the end. I said to my husband at Christmas that I think it would be last we spend with Rubble,” she said. “He had started to stop eating and only drank water.”
Rubble died before his 32nd birthday two months ago, Heritage said.
“He became very thin. I went to work as usual and when I got home my husband said Rubble had gone over the road as he did every day and never came back, so we believe he went off to die as cats do.”
“He was a creature of habit, had his favorite places to sleep and liked his food so when that stopped happening, we knew.”
Her secret for long-lived felines? Top-notch care and attention.
“I have always treated him like a child — I don’t have any children and had another cat called Meg — who passed at the age of 25,” she said. “If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last.”
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