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how the leopard got his spots

Meet Stewie, the World's Longest Cat
By Youmi Park

Whether their cats are fat, teeny, slender, or just plain normal, most aficionados have an amazing thing or two (or 32) to say about their beloved pet. But only one woman gets 4 full feet worth of fuzzy bragging rights.

Robin Henrickson of Reno, Nevada was handed a certificate last week from Guinness World Records honoring her 5-year old Maine Coon, Mymains Stewart Gilligan, aka Stewie, for being the world's longest domestic cat. Henrickson had contacted the Guinness herself, after years of people exclaiming quite literally, "Wow, what a long cat!" upon seeing Stewie.

Honestly, can you blame them? From his nose to the tip of his tail, this streamlined feline measures exactly to 48.5 inches, breaking the previous world record of 47 inches championed by a kitty named Verisimo Leonetti Reserve Red, aka Leo, in 2008.

Besides boasting a similarly regal name fit for such extensive celebrity, Leo is also a Maine Coon like Stewie. This alikeness is not surprising, considering that Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds out there, averaging anywhere between 15 to 25 pounds and up to 40 inches in height. Slapping on another 8 inches may seem like it ain't no thing for a Coon, but ultimately, you end up with an exceptionally long cat.

Still, for all their bulk, they are a healthy and hardy breed with playful personalities, just as Henrickson would describe her "gentle giant."

"He really likes people, especially kids," Hendrickson told the Reno Gazette- Journal. "We hope that maybe Stewie can visit classrooms to help awareness of animal welfare. I think it would be great if Stewie was known worldwide. Mostly though, I hope he makes people smile."

Stewie does just that in the 2011 edition of the Guinness World records, alongside other crazy but cute pets including Giant George, the world's tallest dog measuring a lofty 7-foot-3-inches; and Jake, the tabby honored for having most toes on a cat --28 digits, 7 on each paw. Long, tall, short, multi-toed: all awesome bragging rights.

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