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SADNESS AS MISCHIEF THE CAT DIES AGED 140; Moggy was set to hold the record for world's oldest.

Byline: ALANA FEARON

A CAT who was just a whisker away from being crowned the world's oldest feline died hours after celebrating his 140th birthday.

Black moggy Mischief lived long enough to scoop Britain's oldest cat accolade, with 30 human years under his colourful collar.

But the purrfect family feline died just hours after reaching his milestone birthday - and never got the chance to get his paws on the world record.

As Mischief blew out the candles on his birthday cake, proud owners Chris and Donna Thorne, from Cornwall, said their furry friend was already a star.

Chris, 54, got Mischief from a pal as a cuddly kitten in 1981.

Three decades on elderly Mischief still had all his own teeth - but preferred quiet cat naps to hanging out with his feline friends. Speaking before Mischief's death Chris said: "He is very much part of the family, he cannot be ignored.

"You'll turn around and he's there, round your ankles for food. He's a cool cat."

Donna, 36, added: "Mischief just keeps on going - he is simply amazing. And he still tries to climb the stairs."

The Thornes also revealed the secret to Mischief's long life wasn't their loving care - it was salmon juice.

Chris revealed: "He loves to drink the salmon juice that comes out of the tin when I've made salmon sandwiches."

The family never had Mischief's age verified and hadn't applied to Guinness World Records for confirmation.

But Guinness World Records confirmed there was NO record holder for the title - and said they would be "delighted" to hear from Mischief and the Thornes.

The Thornes also previously revealed their plans to give Mischief a proper burial. Donna said: "He's too important to be buried in the garden."

Irish Mirror Comment: Page 10

38 The oldest cat in the world was American feline Creme Puff of Austin from Texas, who made it to the ripe old age of 38.

CAPTION(S):

PLAYTIME As a kitten ON THE PROWL He loved the garden FUREVER FRIENDS With owners Chris and Donna Thorne FELINE FINE Mischief 's secret to old age was drinking salmon juice
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2011
Words:354
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