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Unwanted cat brothers, 21, find home with Norfolk vet nurse

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image copyrightRSPCA
image captionBrothers Leon and Nikita were in need of a "retirement home" at the age of 21

Two elderly cat brothers given up for adoption after living together for all of their 21 years have found a new home with a student veterinary nurse.

More than 100 people asked to rehome Leon and Nikita, "bonded brothers" who do absolutely everything together.

Inquiries to the Northamptonshire RSPCA came from as far away as the USA after the branch appealed for a new owner.

Lucy Marheineke, who works for a vet's in Norfolk, "fitted perfectly" and took them to their new home on Friday.

The felines, having reached the grand old age of 21, were urgently in need of a home to spend their twilight years because they were "not coping with family life", the charity said last week.

Its plea was answered by so many people, "from all corners of the UK", it took the RSPCA several days to consider applications from prospective owners.

image copyrightRSPCA
image captionStudent veterinary nurse Lucy Marheineke met Leon and Nikita on Friday

A vet and her husband even offered to fly them to Houston, Texas, as the vet specialises in hyperthyroidism, a condition which one of the brothers, Nikita, is being treated for.

But when Michelle Billingham, from the RSPCA Northamptonshire adoptions team saw Ms Marheineke's application, she said the student vet nurse from King's Lynn "shone out" as she had experience of dealing with elderly cats.

image copyrightRSPCA
image captionNikita's fur was very matted when he arrived at the RSPCA branch last month
image copyrightRSPCA
image captionLeon needed to be rehomed with his brother

Ms Marheineke, who already has a 14-year-old adopted feline at home, said: "I quite like an old crispy cat.

"You just fall in love when you see them, but you know they're not going to be everyone's cup of tea and they get overlooked for younger cats with prettier coats."

image copyrightRSPCA
image captionThe bonded brothers have now gone home to live with Ms Marheineke and her partner Ciaran Smith

She met Leon and Nikita on Friday morning and has now taken them home to live with her.

"They are so sweet, and are very bonded to each other, but they were licking my hand and taking food from me, and have now gone off for together for a bit of a snooze," she added.

At 21, the pair have already outlived the average domestic cat by seven years, but according to Guinness World Records the oldest cat on record lived to the age of 38.

Creme Puff was born in August 1967 and died in Austin, Texas, USA on 6 August 2005 - three days after her 38th birthday.

The Northamptonshire RSPCA branch has set up a fund in honour of Leon and Nikita, raising money to help buy food and medicine for the many older cats it takes into its care.

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More on this story

  • Unwanted cat brothers, 21, need 'twilight' Northamptonshire home