Thursday, October 1, 2009

Me-wow! Texas woman says cat is 30 years old

By More from

When Alisa Morris adopted a kitten that she named Caterack in the summer of 1979, she had no idea that the 5-week-old ball of fluff who was blind in her left eye would still be staring back at her some 30 years later.

"Feral cats were born around my mother's house, and there was one she begged me to take from her," says Morris, an abstract artist. "She said 'there is something special about this one.' "

She wasn't kidding. The indoor cat, who Morris says is now 30 years old, lives a simple life with her owner and her husband, Jim Wesbrooks, in a three-bedroom house in Midlothian, Texas. Though she can't hear very well and only has vision in her right eye, Caterack is still mobile, though sometimes shaky on her feet, and enjoys life to the fullest — and likely could be among the oldest housecats in the world.

"I exercise in the house and she comes in ... If I put the stereo on loud enough, she reacts," says Morris. "She'll let me do lifts with her and I don't go around in circles because I don't want to make her nauseated. But she gets right in the middle of it."

Unlike most cats, Caterack enjoys confrontations with the vacuum. "When I've got the vacuum cleaner running, she comes to that. She does like it because she can hear it," she says.

Morris, who "celebrates and thanks God every day Caterack is here," takes special care to make sure her senior pet is comfortable in her old age. "She let's me hold her and brush her. I brush her every day and I watch TV and I hold her," she says, adding that the cat loves to lay on jeans. "She'll let you do anything to her."

What's the secret to the cat's longevity? Nothing special that Morris can think of. The cat has dined on Purina Cat Chow most of her life, until recently when Morris switched her to wet food because she was having trouble chewing. "I've had to go to the little package stuff that's wet," she says. "That's the only thing that she can get down."