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Friday, December 11, 1998 Published at 17:03 GMT


Christmas kitty

Smokey needs a home for Christmas

The BBC's Clinton Rogers: "It's a dog's life"
The oldest cat in the UK has been made homeless - and needs a place to live in time for Christmas.

Smokey is believed to be the country's oldest moggy at 31, the equivalent of 135 in human years.

She was placed in the care of the Cats' Protection League in Gloucestershire when her elderly owner could no longer care for her.

Grey, toothless and described as "feisty" by staff at the rescue centre where she is staying, Smokey also has to be homed with her feline friend Sam, a five-year-old black cat.

[ image: Five-year-old Sam has to go too]
Five-year-old Sam has to go too
Despite the age gap, the pair appear to be inseparable.

The CPL's Sarah Cox said: "It is always difficult to find a home for the older cats.

"Most people who are thinking of taking a cat in to their family want a youngster who is going to be with them a long time.

"Now while Smokey shows every sign of outliving the rest of us, I think probably, realistically, she's got another year or so at the most to go."

CPL's director of operations Debbie Pearce said the family who delivered the cat remembered her age because it was born in the same year as one of their grandchildren.

"We have taken the age in good faith," said Debbie. " It is certainly a very elderly cat.

Scores of callers have contacted the centre offering a home for Smokey since an appeal on BBC TV news, but Debbie added: "We won't be making a decision immediately. We have to do a home check before placing cats.

"We will make sure we find a nice quiet home."

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