RENO — Cat lovers held Stewie aloft as he stretched out and allowed himself to be measured from nose to tail at the Nevada Humane Society on Saturday. The 25-pound “gentle giant,” along with his owners Robin Hendrickson and Erik Brandsness of Reno, are attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark for longest feline.
The current record is held by a Chicago tomcat, also a Maine coon, named Mohawk with a body and tail length of 48 inches, according to Hendrickson.
“I’m pretty certain the record was set in 2006,” Hendrickson said.
On Saturday, Stewie measured 48 1/2 inches so Hendrickson is fairly confident that Stewie could soon be the new world record holder.
Nine witnesses signed statements to confirm the measurement in addition to still photo and video documentation required for the entry. Three local television stations found the event newsworthy enough for coverage.
Stewie’s statistics along with the documentation will be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records United Kingdom office for certification. Hendrickson expects a response, and maybe a new world record certificate, within about six weeks.
Already a winner, the “black and silver classic tabby” achieved supreme grand champion status at a cat show sponsored by The International Cat Association (TICA) competing against Maine coons from across the country.
Like all cat breeds, Maine coons are judged on temperament — “Ill-tempered cats are a no-no,” Hendrickson said — health, grooming and confirmation.
Purebred cats, similar to dogs, must fit a written standard that describes the breed’s body, tail, ears, body shape and size. The Maine coon breed originated with wild barn cats possibly brought from Europe to the northeastern United States by the Vikings centuries ago said cat-lover Susi Woosley, a witness at Saturday’s event.
Cat lovers can see Stewie at an upcoming cat show sponsored by the local Silver Cats Club of which Hendrickson is president. The show on Oct. 29, 30 and 31 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in the Silver State Pavilion. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children younger than 12 years old or $10 fr a family.
A cat costume contest, the “Frightening Five-Star Feline Face-off,” is on Saturday at noon. Proceeds from the annual event will go to local pet rescue groups including the NHS, Feline Rescue of Northern Nevada, Another Chance, Palomino Valley Pet Rescue and the Cozy Cattery of Verdi. Last year, the show raised $1,750 for the rescue groups according to Hendrickson. There will be also be cats from the NHS available for adoption at the show, Hendrickson said.
“Stewie enjoys going out to the shows,” Hendrickson said of her mild-mannered feline. Eventually, the 5-year-old cat will be retired from the show circuit.
“As long as he still likes it, we’ll go,” Hendrickson added.
For more information on The Frightening Five Star Feline Face Off Championship and Household Pet Cat Show, call the Silver Cats Club at 313-6957 or visit the club’s website at http://silvercatsreno.org/Show/2010sccflyer.html.