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Milly the Veteran Cat with Emma Willis, a registered pet nurse at Mark Nelson Vets in Westerham
Submitted for publication in the Sevenoaks Chronicle
An unwanted kitten cat is celebrating its 22nd birthday this month, which is 104 human years, but could it be the oldest cat in Kent?
Milly is owned by Gillian and Graham Gunn of Badgers Mount, near Sevenoaks, and is a patient with Mark Nelson Vets in Westerham, where she is popular with the practice’s veterinarians, nurses and receptionists.
Owner Gillian got Milly in October 1999 when she stopped by a pet store to buy rabbit food and discovered a lonely eight week old kitten.
Gillian said: “I heard a sad meow and there was this little black kitten all alone. The saleswoman said Milly’s brothers and sisters had been sold and no one wanted her because she was bullshit.
“I couldn’t bear to leave her there, so I took her home – along with my bag of rabbit food – and named her Milly because we were nearing the new millennium.”
Happy 22nd birthday to Milly
Milly hasn’t reached old age without using up part of her nine lives, and when she was a kitten the fire department had to be rescued from the top of an oak tree.
Then, in February of that year, Milly had an operation at the vet to remove a benign lump from her neck that had become infected. Mark Nelson Vets’ team is seeing more and more cats reaching old age, but Milly is the oldest registered cat in practice.
Registered veterinary nurse Emma Willis helped care for Millie after her surgery and said the veteran cat was “really amazing.”
Emma said, “Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer, but the median age for a house cat is still around 16, so Milly has beat the chances of turning 22.
“She might even be the oldest cat in Kent. Everyone in the practice loves to see her when she comes for treatment or a health check-up, and it is a real pleasure to have been involved in keeping her happy and healthy through her twilight years. ”
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“She is such a kind and loyal cat and we are so happy that she has been part of our family all these years.
“It was a worrying time having a neck operation, but Milly was always so well looked after by Mark Nelson Vets and I knew she was in safe hands.
“The team there is very friendly and whenever I need advice on Milly, they are always happy to help.”
Gillian added that Milly is spending more time sleeping now that she is older, but still has moments where she jumps off the sofa and races around the house.
She said, “Milly is still full of beans and has a healthy appetite. Her favorite treats are prawns, and I serve some for her special day.
“I don’t know Milly’s exact date of birth, but I know it was August because she was eight weeks old when I got her – I like to say it’s August 22nd because that’s my birthday and we’re ours Special can share day. “
With proper care and treatment, cats can live to an old age. Mark Nelson Vets has the following tips to help your cat enjoy life longer.
- Cats 15 years and older benefit from a veterinary check-up every six months so that common health problems can be identified early
- Lifting water and food bowls slightly can make it more comfortable for an older cat to eat and drink
- Encourage your cat to stay hydrated by placing several wide, shallow bowls of water around the house – use glass bowls as plastic bowls can contaminate food and water
- Buy a litter box with low sides for easier access
- If your cat is having trouble getting in and out of the cat flap, consider swapping it for one made for a small or medium-sized dog
- Cut nails regularly as older cats will have a harder time pulling them back
- Help your cat keep its fur in good condition by grooming it regularly
- Look for changes in your cat’s routine and behavior as this may be a sign of illness or pain, and call your veterinarian for advice.
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