MEET calm and caring Bumble. Could she be the oldest cat in Hampshire?
There’s nothing the silver and tan tabby likes more than dozing off in the warmth of the sun, and just shy of her 23rd birthday in December, she certainly has many years of fun to look back on in her dreams.
Bumble’s age may not seem that impressive to long-living humans, but the cat’s advanced years are notable for a domestic cat which have an average life span of only 12 to 15 years.
Easy-going Bumble, who has lived through five British prime ministers, has been cared for all her life by Adelaide Vets in Bursledon, near Southampton, and head veterinary nurse Jo Phelan believes she must lay claim to be one of the oldest moggies in the region.
To reach this age – the rough equivalent to 108 in human years – Bumble’s owners Gill and Sadak Miah put her longevity down to her placid nature and determination to overcome the illnesses that have affected her as she ages.
“She will be 23 in December and now most of her life is spent asleep, either soaking up the sunlight outdoors or snoozing on the lounge settee,’ said Gill, who lives in Swanmore.
She added: “We bought a set of steps to allow her to walk up to the settee as she now struggles to jump up to it.
“We also installed a pond in our garden which she has really taken to as we often spot her drinking from it. She is also partial to a treat, so now and again we’ll give her a small helping of her favourite trifle and custard.”
Gill and Sadak, who have two sons, started to notice a change in Bumble’s health and behaviour when she was 14 years.
The most serious illness was an eye ulcer that led to a ruptured eyeball earlier this year, which, compounded by her age and the complication of surgery, nearly caused her to be put to sleep. Thankfully she pulled through following meticulous surgery from caring vets.
Other medical ailments and disorders have included a minor stroke, arthritis, pancreatitis, kidney disease, a middle ear infection and high blood pressure, but regular trips to Adelaide Vets have made sure she is healthy and fitting fit.
Gill, who has always owned cats and volunteers for the RSPCA, added: “Bumble has done amazingly to overcome these illnesses. We take her for a general check up every four to six months where she is checked in all manner of areas including her blood pressure, a blood sample to monitor her general wellness, and the function of her kidneys, liver and thyroid.
Senior nurse Jo Phelan said: “Like us, pets get old too, however they can’t take responsibility for their own care so rely on owners to keep an eye out for signs of poor health so they can enjoy each other’s company for longer.
“Bumble’s owners have always been very proactive when it comes to her health. By allowing us to check her regularly and deal with health matters earlier this has no doubt played a part in her reaching such a fantastic age.
“Any significant changes to your pet’s health and behaviour should not be ignored, and owners should seek advice from their vet to check that there are no underlying medical conditions.”
If you have a senior pet and would like advice on their care in their prime of life contact the Adelaide team on 023 8040 6215.
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