Can Lucy, 39, really be the oldest cat in the world? (Or is it just a shaggy dog story?
A family has discovered their cat is the oldest in the world after reaching its 39th birthday.
Pet Lucy was born way back in 1972 when Ted Heath was Prime Minister and petrol was 33p a gallon.
Cat experts say she has clocked up the equivalent of 172 human years - and cats live to be about 15 on average which means Lucy has more than doubled her life expectancy.
Lucy is still fit as a fiddle - and catches mice in the garden. Owner Bill Thomas, 63, inherited Lucy when his wife's Godmother Maria Lewis died in 1999.
Deaf but happy: Lucy, a 39-year-old cat from Llanelli, South Wales is believed to be the oldest cat in the world after a visiting aunt remembered her as a kitten in 1972But it was only when an elderly aunt came to visit that he realised Lucy was a record breaker.
He said: 'My aunt saw the cat and could not believe her eyes.
'She could remember Lucy scampering around maria's fish and chip shop when she was a kitten back in 1972. We knew she was old - but not that old.'
Town councillor Bill, of Llanelli, South Wales, took Lucy to the vet who was amazed by the cat's long life. Bill said: 'The vet said she was very old but it was not possible to give us an exact age.
'Great with the grandchildren': Lucy with Ethan Thomas, aged 6. Cat experts say Lucy has clocked up the equivalent of 172 human years
'She is great with the grandchildren and still likes to patrol the garden every day looking for mice.' Until now the world's oldest recorded cat was a pet called Creme Puff from Texas, USA, which lived for 38 years and three days.
Bill said: 'We have researched Lucy's past and found she was born in Thomas Street, Llanelli in 1972.
He said: 'We have spoken to other people who can verify seeing her in the fish and chip shop in the early seventies.
'She appears to be the genuine article.' A spokesman for Guinness World Records said there was no entry for the world's oldest cat.