If there is one thing that the internet loves more than anything else, it is everything to do with cats.
Throw a small cat, in fact the smallest cat, into the mix, and that is a guaranteed viral story!
So allow us to introduce you to Mr Peebles, one of the smallest, not to mention cutest, little cats in the world!
Whilst on a routine call to a farm to vaccinate dogs in Tazewell County, Illinois, vet Donna Sassman encountered more than she had expected to find.
Hidden among a litter of new kittens was a very undersized, very vulnerable little kitten who had to keep dodging out of the way of his much bigger siblings.
Worried about how the little kitten was going to fare when trying to compete for food with his siblings, plus the added danger of being swooped up by one of the local Great Horned Owls, Dr Sassman decided to take matters into her own hands and do whatever she could to save him from what looked like a certain struggle.
Already emotionally attached, the vet asked the litter’s owner if she could take ‘the runt’, and in no time at all she had him under her wing.
Now back in the safe confines of her Good Shepherd Veterinary Clinic in Pekin, Dr Sassman was able to more closely examine the tiny tabby cat, and what she discovered was something that she had never seen or experienced before.
The little feline on her examining table was not, in fact, a newborn kitten, but actually a fully adult cat estimated to be two years old!
Astonishingly, this tiny adult cat weighed in at a minuscule 2.8 pounds, and Dr Sassman named him Mr. Peebles after the famous ventriloquist’s doll in her favourite episode of Seinfeld.
Now fully under the vet’s care, Mr Peebles had a lot of problems that needed taking care of. Dr Sassman immediately set about trying to ease some of his ailments, with quick treatments for roundworm, ear mites, and a respiratory infection first on the list.
After a little while, Mr Peebles gained 0.3 pounds.
That may not sound like a lot, but it’s a significant amount for a little guy!
After being restored to health by his new loving owner, Mr Peebles becomes the resident house cat of the clinic where he was treated, becoming a firm favourite with all of the staff.
Easily able to fit into objects as tiny as a teacup, Mr Peebles soon became a local famous figure, gaining celebrity status among the clinic’s many clients!
With constant remarks that nobody had ever seen a smaller cat, in 2004 Cathy Smith, the manager of the Good Shepherd Clinic, decided to do some official research on the matter.
After conducting a quick search via the Guinness Book of World Records, it was deemed that no smaller cat had ever been officially documented.
After submitting a 10-page long application and agreeing to Mr Peebles undergoing a series of strict examinations and verification protocols by two independent vets, it was deemed that the tiny cat was indeed the smallest that had ever been officially recorded.
For those who like specifics, little Mr Peebles measured in at 6.1 inches tall, 19.2 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail and weighing 3.1 pounds!
Mr Peebles replaced another cat in the record books, another little boy called Itse Bits who weighed in at a comparatively whopping 3.3 pounds!
As you can imagine, the spotlight placed on him by the Guinness Book of Records made Mr. Peebles not just a local celebrity but a worldwide phenomenon.
What started out as a local interest story very quickly turned into a global news segment, with interest from North America to Europe to South America to Asia.
With a resume larger and more impressive than some major celebrities, Mr Peebles has appeared in publications such as the National Geographic children’s magazine, the National Enquirer, and a myriad of different websites all over the world.
Perhaps the highlight of his ‘career’ so far, Mr Peebles and his owner took a trip to New York where he was the guest of honour on ABC’s Good Morning America, interviewed by the legendary Diane Sawyer, no less!
Alongside his miniature stature, Mr Peebles also has another claim to fame… his segment on Good Morning America was actually cut by a minute due to the breaking news of the death of Johnny Carson.
I think we can all agree that such a small cat never did such big things!
Whilst the size of Mr Peebles might be a one in a million, there are certain breeds of cats that are naturally smaller than the rest.
Here are some breeds that tend to be on the smaller side:
- Singapura – a Singapura cat tends to be half the size of a normal cat, and they rarely weigh more than 5 pounds in full adulthood.
- Munchkin – as the name suggests, the Munchkin cat is also a tiny breed. The reason for their small stature is mostly due to much shorter than usual legs.
- American Curl – the American Curl cat is known not for just being small, but also for being incredibly affectionate with signature curled ears.
- Cornish Rex – on average, a Cornish Rex cat tends to only weigh in the region of 8 pounds, retaining their adorable kitten-like features.
- Siamese – Siamese cats can have long bodies, but at the same time, females in particular can weigh as little as 5 pounds and measure under 30cm in height.
Here’s to Mr Peebles!
A tiny cat with a big story.