Stewie, Beloved Pet and World’s Longest Cat Dies

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Robin Hendrickson and Stewie in January of 2013 at a Portland, OR cat show.
Photo, Bill Axell Photography

When I saw headlines the other day saying ‘World’s Longest Cat Dies,’ or words to that effect, they didn’t hold much meaning except that some cat had passed away and Guiness World Records would give the record holder spot to some other cat. Then I visited the Mymains Stewart Gilligan – Stewie Facebook page and was reminded that Stewie was more than just some statistic holder and cat world celebrity; he was a creature who loved life, loved his guardian, loved people, performed pet therapy work and lived comfortably in both the public and private spheres of his life.  The loss felt greater when I remembered to consider Stewie as more than a statistic and a footnote to history.

Stewie was the Guinness World Record holding World’s Longest Cat, after being measured at 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail on August 28, 2010. He also held the record for the Longest Tail on a Domestic Cat.

In his work as a therapy animal, Stewie visited people at the Regent Care Center in Reno. He also helped to spread awareness for animal welfare, supporting numerous events hosted by the Nevada Humane Society.

Stewie was a grey Maine Coon cat born on January 29, 2005. He was the beloved pet of Reno, Nevada resident Robin Hendrickson. He lived to see his eighth birthday before passing away on February 4, 2013, following a year long battle with cancer. Stewie was diagnosed in early 2012 with Lymphosarcoma, a form of cancer that attacks the lymphoid tissues.  Chemotherapy treatment was successful and Stewie was declared cancer-free. The remission period was a short one; the vet recently found an aggressive tumor on his kidneys. When it became clear that Stewie’s remaining time was to be short, Robin set out to help him enjoy his remaining days until it was time for him to go. That is just what she did.

Stewie loved going out and meeting people. His last public appearance was at The New Culture Clubs cat show in Portland, OR, held on the last weekend of January, 2013.  The friendly cat and his guardian had their last special time out together at the event. Maine photographer Bill Axell was on hand, got to meet Stewie, and made the video below that memorializes the special weekend with clips from Stewie’s attendance at the show.

Mymains Stewart Gilligans Final Public Appearance, by Bill Axell of Axell Photography. Bill met Stewie at the The New Culture Clubs cat show in Portland, OR.


Robin’s pain and sorrow are evident in a video she made and uploaded on Monday, hours before Stewie’s passing to Rainbow Bridge.  Stewie sits with her, wheezing and looking poorly as his goodbyes are said. At first I though it might be too personal and perhaps too morbid to share, but I was very touched while watching, and used my own feelings as my measure of judgement.

A final video, February 4, 2013:


In happier times: April 2012. Lime Jello.

There are many more home videos made with Stewie, found HERE on his page.

For more photos, posts, and to revisit and honor Stewie’s life, you can visit his Mymains Stewart Gilligan – Stewie Facebook page. I’m sure that messages of condolence would be appreciated.


Stewie is remembered in an obituary at the site for KTVN Channel 2.


Stewie, 2005-2013. RIP

4 thoughts on “Stewie, Beloved Pet and World’s Longest Cat Dies”

  1. Thank you for sharing your sweet boy with us, and tears came to my eyes watching his last day with you. I have a beloved cat that is everything to me and they are FAMILY don’t let anyone ever tell you any different!!! {{Hugs}} to you in your time of mourning……

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, I lost my baby of 10 yrs this past July to cancer. It is so hard to let them go, especially when it seems way before their time. Stewie lived a full and giving life, one he obviously enjoyed and loved. His love for you is evident and will never end, he will always be with you, watching over and comforting you in spirit. My sincere condolences and thanks for sharing your darling boy with the world. His legacy will never be forgotten. Fly free sweetie. <3

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