Poppy the moggy is purring with delight after scooping the world’s oldest cat crown at the age of 24.
The pretty pet was born in February 1990, the same month Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
She has lived through five British Prime Ministers but is now a frail old lady and spends most of her time inside relaxing.
At the grand old age of 24, she has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest living cat.
Poppy, from Bournemouth, has picked up the title following the death of Pinky, a cat from Kansas who passed away at the age of 23 last year.
The ‘Top Cat’ Poppy was originally called Popsy and had two owners in her early days.
Then, aged five, she was adopted by Marguerite Corner and her daughter Jacqui. At the age of ten, Poppy went with Jacqui who had moved in with future husband Andy West.
Poppy with current owner Jacqui West and her two sons Joe (left), and Toby (right)
The couple now have two sons (Joe,11 and Toby, eight) and Poppy lives with four other cats, two rabbits and a hamster.
Despite her age and frailty, Poppy is still the boss of the house and if the other cats try their luck with her they are swiftly dealt with.
Jacqui said: “People always ask what we put Poppy’s longevity down to and I guess she has a good diet and lots of exercise.
“She keeps herself fit by walking around and she eats a lot. She has biscuits in the morning and tinned food later on. She’s never been a big cat though.
“She is partial to the odd takeaway. We sometimes give her a bit of KFC chicken, Fish and chips and even the odd bit of kebab meat.”
Jacqui, an accountant, has four other cats along with two rabbits and a hamster.
She wrote to Guinness World Records in February after Poppy turned 24, submitting her into the category of “Oldest Cat Currently Living”.
Guinness World Records investigated the West’s claims and have now confirmed Poppy as the world’s oldest living cat.
Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with claims for the ‘oldest living cat’, with owners from across the globe making applications on behalf of their cats. Today, though, I’m pleased to confirm that we’re recognising Poppy from Bournemouth in the UK as the world’s oldest living cat, at the age of 24 years. If anyone thinks their cat beats this, and can prove it, then we’d encourage them to get in touch with us.”
The oldest cat in history was a feline called Creme Puff who was born on 3 August 1967 and lived until 6 August 2005 - an amazing 38 years and 3 days.
Creme Puff lived with her owner, Jake Perry, in Austin, Texas, USA.
Poppy, left, with previous Marguerite
But the crown is now in Bournemouth with Poppy.
Jacqui added: “Poppy is definitely the top cat and she is still quite feisty. If one of the other cats tries to eat her food she will bite them on the ear.
“She’s deaf and blind and meows for everything. We call her stroppy Poppy sometimes.
“She can get up the stairs but we won’t let her walk down. Over the last year her health has gone down and we know the end is near.
“Poppy does seem to be out-living all our other pets too. We unfortunately had a hamster and bunny die on us last year.
“Each time we tell the grandparents we’ve lost an animal, they all assume its Poppy. I’ve said goodbye to her a few times but she keeps on going.”
Pics: David Hedges / SWNS.com