Rubble, World's Oldest Cat, Dies at 31: 'He Was an Amazing Companion,' Says Owner
"If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last," the cat's owner said
Rubble, the pet believed to have been the oldest living cat, has died at the age of 31 — about 150 years old in human quantifications!
His owner Michele Heritage of Exeter, England, confirmed the news, telling South West News Service that Rubble died before reaching his milestone 32nd birthday, which would have been in May.
"He was an amazing companion that I had the pleasure to live with for such a long time," said Heritage, 52, who recalled being gifted Rubble as a kitten for her 20th birthday. "He was part of a litter of cats that my sister's friend had and I had just left home. I was lonely living on my own, so I got him in as a kitten."
Heritage credited the fluffy Maine Coon cat's long life to her pet parenting, doting on the animal as if he was her own son.
"I have always treated him like a child," she explained. "I don't have any children and had another cat called Meg, who passed at the age of 25. If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last."
The owner recounted Rubble's final days, sharing that the pet deteriorated "very quickly toward the end."
"I said to my husband at Christmas that I think it would be last we spend with Rubble. He had started to stop eating and only drank water," Heritage said. "He became very thin. I went to work as usual, and when I got home my husband said Rubble had gone over the road as he did every day and never came back, so we believe he went off to die as cats do."
"He was a creature of habit," she added, "[he] had his favorite places to sleep and liked his food, so when that stopped happening, we knew."
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Celebrating Rubble's 30th birthday in 2018, Heritage called him "lovely," admitting that he was known to be a bit "grumpy" at times, as well.
“He’s a lovely cat, although he has got a little grumpy in his old age,” she said at the time. “He has plenty of life left in him yet, but I don’t think we will go down the Guinness World Record route as I am not sure he would like lots of people coming to see him or a fuss being made out of him.”
“He is old now,” the owner added, “and would not like too much attention or be hassled. We would prefer if he was just left to live out his old age in peace.”