World's Oldest Cat Anointed by Guinness
A 30-year-old cat in Texas is the new poster feline for longevity.
A cat named Scooter has just become famous. At 30 years of age, he's been named the world's oldest cat by the organization synonymous with superlatives, Guinness World Records.
Scooter was born way back on March 26, 1986, making him a feline who remembers the Cold War and who may well have spent his earliest years waiting for New Wave music to run its course.
The Siamese lives in Mansfield, Texas with his owner Gail Floyd, according to a release from Guinness.
By Floyd's account, Scooter is still very active, despite his age, though he does receive regular treatment for a leg he broke two years ago. She thinks his busy mind along with new experiences keep him young.
"He likes to see new places and he likes people," said Floyd of her record-setting feline.
He accepts being bathed without a fuss and even likes to be blow-dried after the cleaning.
Guinness notes that Scooter has a ways to go yet before he becomes the oldest cat ever. That honor belongs to another Texas cat (hailing from Austin) named Crème Puff, who died at 38 years and 3 days old.
Of course, whenever a record is set, someone, or something, else loses hold of it. Corduroy, who earned the title last year at age 26, will now have to settle for second-oldest-cat status.
Here's a video of Corduroy taking the crown last year. Perhaps Scooter can take a look, so he's able to better appreciate his title. Without any gloating, of course. Scooter sounds too humble for that.
Scooter remains active, even three decades into his life. He still wakes his owner each morning with lots of chatter.
There's a new addition to Smithsonian National Zoo's Small Mammal House: a female sand cat named Lulu. She was brought in as a mate for the resident male Thor. The hope is that kittens will soon follow. Let's learn a bit about sand cats, starting with what they are, and then find out how the two are getting along.
Here Thor says "Hello" in sand cat. As their name implies, sand cats live in deserts and are the only cats to live primarily in such environments. They live in deserts of Central and Southwest Asia, as well as those of North Africa. They're well suited to the hot and cold swings of temperature in the desert and will burrow into the sand to keep cool. Smithsonian researchers say they're tough animals to study, in part because their presence is hard to spot. They have fur on their foot pads and leave barely a trace in the desert sand.
Here's Lulu striking a pose. (Hint; you can tell it's her from her oval-shaped face, compared to Thor, whose mug is a bit more horizontally inclined.) Early reports are that Lulu has already established herself as the more dominant and feisty of the two, while Thor is outgoing with zoo staff and is happy to try his best in training sessions.
The cute cats are very active early in the morning, scooting around their enclosure and playing with their toys. Catch them at noon, though, and they're likely to be napping.
Zoo staff say they help the cats keep up with their natural behaviors by hiding some of their food in puzzle feeders, as shown here. It keeps them busy remembering how to claw and dig at things to get a meal.
If the stylish pair produces kittens, it will be the first experience of parenthood for either cat. Their introduction went "incredibly well," according to zoo staff. So there may well be babies in the offing! In fact, the zoo has recently separated Lulu from Thor, while veterinarians determine whether or not she is indeed pregnant. Thor's presence, say staff, could stress out Lulu if she's going to have kittens. Every little new kitten helps the species, too. Sand cats are currently listed as "Near Threatened" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's "red list" of threatened species.