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Birthday for one of area's oldest cats

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:32 01 August 2010

A SWEET-toothed cat from Broome celebrated her 23rd birthday this week- making her possibly one of the oldest cats in the UK.

Charlie, named after Charlie Chaplin because of her black "moustache," celebrated the impressive landmark with a piece of sponge cake baked by her family.

A SWEET-toothed cat from Broome celebrated her 23rd birthday this week- making her possibly one of the oldest cats in the UK.

Charlie, named after Charlie Chaplin because of her black “moustache,” celebrated the impressive landmark with a piece of sponge cake baked by her family.

The elderly feline, who is more than 100 years old in cat years, is also partial to the occasional nibble of chocolate.

Her owner Coral Burgess, who lives in Yarmouth Road, picked up Charlie from the Beccles Cats Protection League in 1987.

She thinks that Charlie was probably the runt of the litter, because at three weeks old she was still so small that she slept in a cereal bowl.

Charlie is still relatively small, but was a champion mice catcher in her prime, bringing in at least two a day from the woodland in the Burgess's garden.

In fact it was only about six months ago that she started to act her age, and she now spends a lot of time sleeping.

“She's just like an old person now,” said Mrs Burgess. “But apart from a bit of hair loss on her ears, she still looks like a five year old.”

Mrs Burgess puts Charlie's long life down to all the mice she's eaten, as well having a good home. Although her main food is the dry cat food Science Diet, Charlie also enjoys a bit of tuna and beef mince for dinner, and now and again she is partial to a piece of cake or chocolate.

To celebrate Charlie's birthday Mrs Burgess's daughter Joanna baked the celebratory cake, which Mrs Burgess topped with some toy mice.

Keith Hargreaves, coordinator for the Waveney branch of the Cats Protection League, said that Charlie was certainly one of the oldest cats in Waveney and probably the UK. “That's really, really old,” he said. “At 20 years you're doing well.”

The Guinness World Records state that the oldest cat ever lived an amazing 38 years and three days. Creme Puff, from Austin, Texas, was born on August 3 1967 and lived until August 6 2005.

The oldest recorded cat in the UK was a ginger domestic long-haired cat named Spike, from Bridport in Dorset, who died on July 9 2001, aged 31.

There is no current record holder for the title of oldest living cat. If you believe your cat may be the oldest in the world make an application via the website www.guinnessworldrecords.com.

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