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AWLQ cat Simba 20 years young and about to start his ninth life

Animal Welfare League Queensland’s oldest cat has been adopted – thanks to an AWLQ teen volunteer and her mother who works in aged care.

At 20 years of age Simba should be enjoying his latter years, on a window sill, in the living room, watching the world go by. Instead the medium haired affable stunner found himself waiting to be adopted at Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ).

“Simba is gorgeous, outgoing and literally celebrated his twentieth birthday with us,” AWLQ State Rehoming Manager Melinda Phipps said.

Simba came to AWLQ as a stray with a microchip so old that it couldn’t be read by current microchipping scanners and we had to use a special scanner. His owners though couldn’t be found. But the cat, who is nearly 100 in human years, was to truly have nine lives when a 16 year old AWLQ volunteer saw him and fell in love.

“Mikayla was volunteering and one AWLQ’s cat team, just happened to say ‘have you seen this cat’? You are not going to believe him,” Jane Woodhouse said.

Mikyala couldn’t.

“I had no idea that he could be 20,” Mikayla said.

Simba is in great condition for a man of his age with just a little bit of arthritis and cataracts. He still has all his teeth!

Mikyala went home and told her mother Jane, who as a geriatric nurse, had an immediate soft spot for this big old cat. It was also the first time in the two years that Mikayla had been volunteering at AWLQ that she was so adamant that the family needed to adopt.

“The fact that he was a stray shows that he is a real survivor and it breaks my heart that he would probably be waiting to be adopted for a long time,” Jane Woodhouse said.

With Mum convinced, it was just a case of doing the adoption papers and picking up their new family member.

Simba in the meantime has enjoyed life in AWLQ’s top office – sharing the space with AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley.

“Simba is absolutely beautiful, greeting me every morning purring, ready for a pat and a smooch,” Ms Bradley said.

“He sits on my desk or the work table all day and supervises.

“We are indebted to the Woodhouse family for adopting Simba.”

Simba is just one older cat waiting to be discovered by their new family.

“There are more than half a dozen cats alone at our Gold Coast Rehoming Centre,” Ms Phipps said.

“They include 12 year olds Miffy and Midnight, ten year old Precious and nine year old Missy.

“Nine years really is the new five years. With improvements in pet nutrition and health care cats are living even longer.”

The Woodhouse family is urging people to consider older pets, just like Simba.

“I think that when people come in they look at kittens and don’t think of the older cats. They are so beautiful and have so much to offer,” Mikayla said.

“You have to appreciate that it’s about giving him the best quality of life for the rest of his years,” Jane said.