Pet World RecordsPublished December 15, 2008
In the 21st century, every pet will be famous for 15 minutes. With that in mind, and since I had no delusions that my pets would gain fame by saving me from a burning building, I decided they should set some kind of a record. How hard could it be? Take Striker, a Border Collie that holds the world record for rolling down a car window in the slow-motion time of 11.34 seconds. My dogs can press a button harder than that. Oh, well, so I see Striker's record was set with an old-fashioned manual roll-down window. Who has those anymore, anyway? Dog Records Besides, my dogs are more the athletic types. And because they pride themselves on their ability to jump any fence, I looked up the high jump record. It's held by a retired racing Greyhound named Cinderella, who cleared 68 inches without touching the fence. Hmmm. Maybe it's not really a good idea to encourage that fence-jumping thing. Perhaps a long jump record would entail less fence building. That's held by another Greyhound, named Bang that jumped 30 feet over a fence in pursuit of a hare. But when he landed, he hurt his leg. I have enough vet bills. World's fastest? That's another Greyhound. I see a trend here. My dogs aren't Greyhounds. I'd pick a non-Greyhound-friendly venue, like swimming, only my dogs don't like getting their fur wet. Besides, the swimmingest dog, a Lab mix named Umbra, has logged over 600 miles alongside her owner, even dog paddling her way to a record 4 miles in 73 minutes. Who has that much time? And since my dogs refuse to pick up even one tennis ball, that record seemed a little far-fetched -- especially considering the world record for the most tennis balls held in the mouth by a dog at once is five, fetched by a Golden Retriever named Augie. That's just being greedy. Looking down the list, my dogs' chances for fame seemed to fade. They weren't old, fat, tall, short or fill-in-the-blank enough. Look at this competition: Oldest dog: Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog, worked cattle and sheep from the time he was a pup in 1910 until he took early retirement at the age of 20. He lived until 1939, when he was put to sleep at 29 years and 5 months of age. Heaviest dog: Zorba, an Old English Mastiff, weighed 343 pounds. He also held the record for longest dog, measuring 8 feet 3 inches long from nose to tail. Zorba stood 37 inches at the shoulder. Tallest dog: Gibson, a Great Dane, measured 42.2 inches at the shoulder. Smallest Dog (length): In terms of measurement from nose to tail tip, a Chihuahua named Brandy, who's length was a mere 6", holds that record. Smallest Dog (height): Ducky of Charlton, MA, a Chihuahua bought for $5,000, holds the record for the shortest dog. Ducky stands 4.9 inches at the shoulder. Smallest Dog (weight): Dancer, another Chihuahua, claims the lightest dog record with a weight of 18 ounces, about the size of a double cheeseburger. Longest Ears: Tigger, a Bloodhound, sports 27.25 inches worth of ears, with one ear measuring 13.5 inches and the other, 13.75 inches. Cat Records It was clear that fame would elude me if I relied on my dogs. That left the cat. If I could find him. Believe it or not, there's a record for the longest surviving cat trapped in a building after an earthquake -- 80 days, it turns out, by a cat in the Taiwan earthquake of 1999. That seems a little extreme, though. Where would I find an earthquake? The same goes for the best climbing record, held by a kitten (just to rub it in) that followed a group of climbers to the top of the 14,691-foot Matterhorn in the Alps. Again, I was looking for something requiring far less effort. Cat that sheds the most, maybe? But no such category. I did find these: Oldest: Granpa, who lived to be 34 years, 2 months and 4 hours old, holds the record for longest-lived cat. Smallest Cat: Mr. Peebles is the world's smallest cat, standing 6.1 inches tall and 3 pounds. Oddly, he's larger than the world's smallest dog. Heaviest Cat: A neutered male named Himmey, weighed a whopping 46 pounds 15.5 ounces, and sported a 15-inch neck and 33-inch waist. He died of respiratory failure. Longest Cat: A Maine Coon Cat named Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red measures 48-inches from nose tip to tail tip makes him the world's longest cat. Most Toes: Most cats have a total of 18 toes, but a cat named Jake has a total of 27. Largest Litter: Mother cats have 8 teats, and typically have about 5 or so kittens. But one cat named Tarawood Antigone had a litter of 19 kittens, of which 14 were born alive and survived. She didn't even take fertility drugs. Most Kittens: Dusty, born in 1935, before the concept of spaying your cat was widespread, holds the record as the most prolific cat mother. Over the course of 17 years she gave birth to 420 kittens. Oldest Cat to Have Kittens: The oldest known cat to have kittens was a 30-year-old cat named, imaginatively, "Kitty." Best Mouser: Towser, a cat employed by a distillery for mouse control, more than earned her wages by catching 28,899 mice. I hope to never see 28,899 mice. Or a 46-pound cat. Yet Guinness doesn't seem to offer records in reasonable categories, such as most times it takes before coming when called or most money spent at the veterinary clinic. Maybe it's fine for my pets to just sleep through their 15 minutes of fame. Hey, I wonder what the record for sleeping is?
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