A PROUD pet owner from the Vale believes her cat may be a contender for the crown of the world’s oldest.

The previous holder of the title, a tortoiseshell called Poppy from Bournemouth, died last month at the grand old age of 24.

Pauline Harris, of Pebworth, believes her fluffy grey cat PJ, was born only a few months before Poppy towards the end of 1989, making her 24 years and nine months.

After reading about record- breaker Poppy, Mrs Harris, a mother-of-two, said: “When I saw it, I thought ‘I’m sure my cat is as old as that’,” she said.

“The vet informed me PJ was 24 years and nine months, but I’ve got to get actual proof.”

Named because she looked like she had stripey pyjamas on, Mrs Harris originally bought PJ when she was just six weeks old from a farm in Ilmington, near Shipston.

Longevity evidently runs in the family for PJ, who has had one litter of kittens, with her last surviving offspring, Bruno, living until he was 22.

Mrs Harris, who works for Vale Press in Willersey, said PJ likes eating cat food and biscuits but also has a penchant for some of the finer things in life.

“She likes a bit of cream now and again and will lick butter,” she said. “When she was younger she used to like Marmite.”

She said she was amazed her cat had lived so long but said it was a shame about Poppy.

“You get so attached to your pets,” she added. “It is always heart wrenching when anything happens, even though you are always aware that it could happen any time soon.