World’s Longest Cat Dies; See Photos Of Stewie’s Final Days
The world's longest cat has cashed in his ninth life, peacefully passing away Monday night surrounded by loved ones, including owner Robin Hendrickson. The world's longest cat, Mymains Stewart Gilligan (or 'Stewie' for short), was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest domestic cat in the world measuring 48.5 inches from nose-to-tail. Stewie was a Maine Coon cat, and the world's longest cat also doubled as one of its friendliest by working as a certified therapy animal and paying frequent visits to nursing homes in the Reno, Nevada area.
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"Stewie was always very social and loved meeting new people," Hendrickson told the Associated Press. "He has touched many lives, and for that I am grateful."
The world's longest cat was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma early last year, and despite the high cost of treatment Hendrickson tried to cure his illness by getting Stewie chemotherapy. He was only eight-years-old when he died, well short of the average life expectancy of 12 years or more for the Maine Coon breed. Stewie responded successfully to chemotherapy at first and was declared cancer-free. Unfortunately, the remission period was brief as vets discovered a more aggressive tumor developing in his kidney. Still, Hendrickson is happy she was able to give the world's longest cat a slightly longer life.
"Not everyone can afford chemo for their cats," she told KOLO-TV. "I'm still in debt up to my eyeballs, but I'm glad I did it. It gave him a longer life."
Not surprisingly, support and condolences have been pouring in for Stewie from around the web.
The world's longest cat is also being memorialized on his Facebook page, with condolences from fans accompanying heartwarming photos of his final days. Here are some highlights:
RIP Stewie the Cat - you did good work.Maybe he will be replaced by a rescue kitty!sfgate.com/news/article/S...
— Kitty Cause(@KittyCause) February 6, 2013
*puts on black collar* BBC News - World's longest cat Stewie dies at eight in Reno, Nevada bbc.in/11RokSJ
— The Pit Lane Cat (@ThePitLaneCat) February 6, 2013
— Chad Williamson (@chadmius) February 6, 2013
"So sorry for your loss. I know this is heartbreaking for you. He was beautiful boy," wrote Vanessa Nelson.
"Stewie, you walk so tall and proud. Walk that walk, paw by paw, making us proud to know you. You stole my heart when I met you a few days ago. Robin you are in my heart and prayers every moment. Love you Robin and Stewie," wrote Barbara Navarro-Adams.
"The world won't be the same without Stewie," wrote Tessa Taylor.
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