Basically, 1990 was a big year for cats. Paula Abdul danced with MC Skat Kat in her popular music video for “Opposites Attract,” her dance jam that hit No. 1 in February, and Janet Jackson sang about a hard-living “Black Cat.”
And then, of course, Poppy the cat was born.
Twenty-four years later, the elderly kitty from Bournemouth, England, has become a superstar in her own right: She’s been named the oldest living feline by Guinness World Records following the death last year of 23-year-old Pinky the cat from Kansas.
What’s her secret to longevity? A solid diet and lots of exercise says her owner, accountant Jacqui West, who also shares her home with four other felines, two rabbits and a hamster.
“She keeps herself fit by walking around, and she eats a lot,” West tells Guinness, adding that Poppy is now deaf and blind. “She has biscuits in the morning and tinned food later on. She’s never been a big cat though.”
It seems that Poppy’s furry roommates can sense that she is a purr-incess, too. “Poppy is definitely the top cat, and she is still quite feisty,” West says. “If one of the other cats tries to eat her food, she will bite them on the ear.”
While Poppy can still make her way up stairs (but not down), she’s lost her pep in recent years, says West. She says she fears that Poppy’s final days are near.
Until then, Poppy’s happy to gobble up some tasty treats and bask in her golden years.
“We sometimes give her a bit of KFC chicken, fish and chips,” West says, “and even the odd bit of kebab meat.”