2 Guinness world record-breaking cats killed together in house fire

Will and Lauren Powers are seen at their Farmington Hills, Michigan, home with two of their cats, Arcturus, at left, and Cygnus. Arcturus, who held the world record as the tallest domestic cat and Cygnus, who had the world record for the longest tail, were killed in a house fire. Their bodies were found in the rubble Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, after being missing for more than a month.
Caption
Will and Lauren Powers are seen at their Farmington Hills, Michigan, home with two of their cats, Arcturus, at left, and Cygnus. Arcturus, who held the world record as the tallest domestic cat and Cygnus, who had the world record for the longest tail, were killed in a house fire. Their bodies were found in the rubble Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, after being missing for more than a month.

Credit: Guinness World Records

Credit: Guinness World Records

Arcturus and Cygnus shared everything.

The pair of cats shared a home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. They both were named Guinness World Record holders this fall -- Arcturus as the tallest domestic cat, measuring just over 19 inches, and Cygnus as the domestic cat with the world's longest tail, which measured at more than 17 inches.

The pair of feline friends also died together Nov. 13 when their owners, Will and Lauren Powers, lost their home to a fire. The couple confirmed the cats' deaths Wednesday in a post on Will Powers' Facebook page.

The cats’ bodies were found in the final room of the home’s basement to be excavated following the fire, the post read. They appeared to have died of smoke inhalation.

"With regard to our discovery of Cygnus and Arcturus, they were best friends in life and it gives us a small amount of peace that they were together at the end of their amazing journey on this earth," the post read.

When the fire broke out, Will Powers managed to open a few doors in the home as he tried to find the cats. Before he could locate them, he was overcome with smoke and forcibly pulled from the house by responding firefighters.

Two additional cats, the Powers' cat, Sirius, and a friend's cat, Yuki, remained missing Thursday and were believed to have escaped the blaze. The couple requested no memorial content be posted for the missing animals since they are still searching for them and are hopeful that they will be found.

Details about Sirius and Yuki can be found at starcatsdetroit.com.

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A total of $100,000 in Bitcoin, or $25,000 each, was offered for the safe recovery of the four cats when all remained missing, according to the Washington Post. Will Powers' sister, Brittney Powers, told the newspaper that the couple is devastated by their loss.

"They treated their cats like children. They were members of their family," Brittney Powers said. "And them having notoriety for their sizes has nothing to do with how they feel about them."

The couple stated on Facebook that they want Cygnus and Arcturus to be remembered not for how they died, but for their lives.

"We want them to be remembered for their incredible personalities, their contributions to the Ferndale Cat Shelter and their love for each other and their brother, Sirius," the Facebook post read.

The couple applied for the Guinness World Records to raise awareness of the Ferndale Cat Shelter, which they run together. Cygnus and Arcturus were profiled in a September story on the Guinness World Records website.

Cygnus, a silver Maine Coon whose full name was Cygnus Regulus Powers, had unique challenges due to the length of his tail, which was longer than his body. It could easily get caught in doors or dip into things as he sauntered around the house.

Arcturus’ challenges came due to his size.

The 30-pound Savannah cat ate about a pound and a half of food each day and could stand at the dining table to do so. Will Powers said in a video for Guinness World Records that Arcturus' size was equivalent to that of a 10-foot human -- and he was still growing at the time of his death.

Arcturus, who officially went by Arcturus Aldebaran Powers, had a special enclosed cat patio to play in and his owners installed a medium-sized dog door for his comfort.

"Both kitties are exceptionally well bonded, constantly playing and chasing each other around the house, grooming each other and sleeping in a cuddle pile," the Guinness story read.

The couple said in the Guinness video that, as their cats grew, they would joke about them someday breaking the world record.

"Then they did. Both of them," Will Powers said.

Lauren Powers said it was surreal to own two unrelated cats who both made it into the record book.

"It's a pretty proud moment for us, I think, as cat parents," she said.