It’s a moun­tain of me­ows

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Maryanne Taouk

COULD this be Syd­ney’s big­gest cat?

Karen Mil­ton, of Nor­man­hurst in Syd­ney’s north, says her maine coon Ol­lie is def­i­nitely a con­tender.

“He’s still got some grow­ing to go,” Mil­ton says.

“But if his dad is any­thing to go by, he’ll be a big boy in the next few months.”

Ol­lie tips the scales at close to 8kg and is 165cm long, from his nose to the end of his tail, which is on the higher end of the maine coon size chart.

On av­er­age maine coons, known as the largest do­mes­ti­cated breed of cat, reach 8kg at ma­tu­rity but Ol­lie is just 18 months old and still grow­ing.

“He doesn’t take any more feed­ing than a reg­u­lar cat,” Mil­ton says.

“I wasn’t sur­prised by the amount he’s grown ei­ther – we knew what we were in for when we brought them home.”

Mil­ton says she has al­ways been a cat lady and she and hus­band Ian have owned seven cats, with Ol­lie and his sis­ter Thea their first maine coons.

“I’ve never re­ally been in­ter­ested in get­ting a dog but I liked the idea of a big­ger an­i­mal. I did a lot of web searches for maine coons be­cause they’re like dogs, in a way.”

Mil­ton says she is try­ing to teach Ol­lie and Thea to “fetch” and says for cats they are “very so­cia­ble” and friendly with some of the cats known to “go for walks on leashes”.

“They al­ways want to play or meet new peo­ple, I think they’re nat­u­rally in­quis­i­tive an­i­mals.”

Mil­ton says she also likes the “wild” look of the cats.

“They look a bit scary, or im­pres­sive, like a bob­cat or a lynx,” she ex­plains.

“They have tufts of fur on their ears and paws, that gives them quite a lovely look.

“It’s usu­ally what shocks peo­ple more than their size.”

But it was the sound they make that gave Mil­ton the great­est sur­prise.

“When you hear them, it’s like a meow and purr mixed to­gether, they’re cats that sound more like a bird. I’m pretty sure it means they’re happy, but hear­ing a cat chirp is one of the stranger parts of hav­ing them.”

Karen Mil­ton with her big cat, a maine coon named Ol­lie. Pic­ture: Troy Snook

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