Sunday 22 October 2017

Cat Smokey aims for purring record

Smokey the cat eyes up some bacon dangled by owner Ruth Adams
Smokey the cat eyes up some bacon dangled by owner Ruth Adams
Smokey the cat with owner Ruth Adams

She hit the headlines with a thunderous purr that was compared to a lawn mower, hair dryer or even a Boeing 747 coming in to land - and now Smokey has made a Guinness world record attempt to see if she is the loudest purring domestic cat on the planet.

Owner Ruth Adams, from Pitsford, Northampton, enlisted the help of the town's college to get specialist sound equipment to record the attempt and organise some official witnesses.

The attempt, at their home, saw the 12-year-old cat's purr reach 73 decibels - 16 times louder than the average cat. Smokey's efforts have been put forward to Guinness and the Adams family is waiting to find out if she scoops the title of world record purrer.

Mrs Adams said: "Guinness has very strict criteria and the college has been very helpful in supplying the specialist recording equipment needed to measure Smokey's purr and for arranging the official witnesses.

"Smokey is actually quite camera-shy so I was very conscious not to upset her during the record attempt so we kept it all kept very calm and low-key.

"We are very grateful to the college for stepping in to help us attempt the record and now just have to wait patiently to hear the final verdict."

Witnesses on hand for the attempt were Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris, veterinary nurse Kaye James, Diana Johnson from Cats Protection, and British Airways captain Alisdair Tait.

Ray Meadham, curriculum manager in music at Northampton College, said: "You don't get asked to help out with a world record attempt every day so of course we jumped at the chance.

"We had a few test sessions at the college's studios before deciding to make the attempt in Smokey's home environment where she felt more at ease and would perform at her best.

"The recording equipment we used to record Smokey's purr included a Rode microphone, Logic music software and a category 1 sound meter which measures decibels - it's the same equipment music professionals use. Luckily, Smokey was on top form and rose to the challenge."

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