By Jane Nambi
The world’s longest cat, Stewie has died aged 8 from cancer.
At the time of his death, Stewie was more than 4 feet long from nose to tail. He died Monday according to his owner, Robin Hendrickson who made the announcement yesterday, Tuesday. Stewie had been battling with cancer for year before he succumbed to it and passed away.
In August 2010, the Guinness World Records declared Stewie the longest cat measuring 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. His death touched many who flocked his Facebook site to offer condolences and filled it up with memories. Stewie was a certified therapy animal that frequently visited a Reno senior center and helped promote animal welfare awareness with the Nevada Humane Society.
“Stewie was always very social and loved meeting new people,” Hendrickson said. “He has touched many lives, and for that I am grateful.”
Stewie’s full name was Mymains Stewart Gilligan. Hendrickson bought him from a breeder in Hermiston, Oregon, in 2005. Last month, he attended the International Cat Show in Portland, Oregon. “He did really well at the show, even though he wasn’t feeling totally perfect,” said Stewie’s breeder, Valerie Horton. “He loved being there because he loved the public. He always did.”
Horton said Maine Coons are the largest domestic breed of cats. She’s been raising them since 1980. “It’s the luck of the draw,” Horton said. “We mostly breed for type and temperament, and then hope for the size. Stewie’s father came from some very large cats.”
Stewie was diagnosed in early 2012 with Lymphosarcoma, a malignant disease of the lymphoid tissues but responded successfully to chemotherapy. He was declared cancer-free after chemo but the remission period did not last for long. A vet recently found another, more aggressive tumor on his kidneys, Hendrickson said.
“I knew that although we could fight it, the end was near and so I wanted to simply make him comfortable and let him enjoy the time he did have,” she said.