Friday 21 October 2022

Will Powers is a celebrity seeker living vicariously through his Guinness World Record Savannah cat

OPINION ON THE NEWS: Dr. William John Powers of Farmington Hills, USA is all over the news and has been for about a month. There are endless numbers of pictures of him with his Guinness World Records titleholder as the world's tallest living domestic cat.

Fenrir and Powers. The Guinness World Records tallest domestic cand his owner
Fenrir and Powers. The Guinness World Records tallest domestic cand his owner. Image: Guinness World Records.

The accolade goes to Fenrir, a second filial Savannah cat measuring 18.83 inches to the shoulder on January 29, 2021.

I have a strong sense that this man, a Michigan physician and HIV specialist, is desperate for celebrity and he gets it vicariously through his cats.

I say 'cats' because four of Powers' cats have officially won the following Guinness World Records:

  1. Altair Cygnus Powers – The Guinness World Records title holder for the longest tail on a living domestic cat. His tail measures 16.07 inches.
  2. Arcturus Aldebaran Powers – The Guinness World Records title holder for the tallest cat ever, and previously held the title for the tallest living domestic cat. He died in a fire in 2017.
  3. Cygnus Regulus Powers – A silver Maine Coon who held the record for the longest tail on a living domestic cat. Cygnus also died in the 2017 fire. 
He always names his cats after him. More publicity seeking in my opinion.

Mr Powers story is rather remarkable because two of his previous record holders as you can note above died in a fire.

But what is apparent is that he is constantly chasing records. I think he does this because he knows he will achieve celebrity. And I don't like it. There is something wrong with the man.

There is an absurd obsession by humankind in chasing cat records. What is the point of this record? It is the tallest domestic cat from the ground to the shoulder. Does that really mean anything?

It just means that the cat has long legs! Unsurprising as the wild cat ancestor of the Savannah cat is the serval which has the longest legs to body size of all cats. 

It doesn't mean that Fenrir is the biggest domestic cat. There are some extraordinary Maine Coon cats which are bigger than this Savannah cat.

This particular Guinness World Record is, as I have suggested almost meaningless, but Mr Powers has latched onto it, perhaps realising that it is a rather artificial award but nonetheless gone for it and achieved the result he wanted.

In an earlier post I suggested, tentatively, that Fenrir was a little bit overweight. He seems to have fixed that problem but in a recent interview he states that Fenrir is "ravenously" hungry. This has put pressure on Mr Powers to limit his cat's diet because he was getting too big.

It seems, therefore, that I was correct in my assessment. However, in more recent photographs it appears that he has lost some weight.

It is nearly always Savannah cats which achieve this particular award. The most famous Savannah cat to achieve it was Magic. I made a video about this cat. Actually, I made more than one video. She was a female. I don't know whether she still alive.

She was an F1 Savannah cat. Fenrir is an F2 Savannah cat which means second generation from the wild. Normally F1s are larger than F2s but clearly that is not always the case.

As I recall, Guinness World Records did away with the world's fattest cat because it encouraged people to overfeed their cats and make them unhealthily fat.

I personally don't think Guinness should be involved with world records for domestic cats. I'm being a grumpy old man, but it tends to encourage human behaviour which is not really desirable.

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