Two family cats belonging to a Gazette distributor celebrate their 18th birthday this week (Thursday, April 30).

Dam and Ringgit at home in Bishops Tawton - the family had them from kittens in Thailand.Dam and Ringgit at home in Bishops Tawton - the family had them from kittens in Thailand.

Dam and Ringgit were born in Thailand but moved back to the UK with the Puttipap family in 2014 and they now live in Bishops Tawton.

Sam Puttipap, aged 15, delivers the Gazette in the Mount Pleasant area and mum Lucie contacted us asking if we could get his cats in the paper.

She said: “They and their three siblings were born in a doctor’s clinic in Thailand, and I was offered the kittens when I passed by and admired them.

“We called them Dam (which is Thai for ‘black’) and Ringgit (which is the currency of Malaysia).

Old ladies Dam and Ringgit enjoy a snooze at their home in Bishops Tawton.Old ladies Dam and Ringgit enjoy a snooze at their home in Bishops Tawton.

“I lived in Thailand for 17 years, teaching English and doing conservation work. My kids Sam (15) and Mae (12) were born there. They have never known life without the cats - they are a very important part of the family.

“In 2014 we moved back to the UK and spent a huge amount of time, money and paperwork to allow the cats to come with us.”

On the family farm in Thailand the cats caught lots of mice, rats, frogs, lizards, and even the odd snake, as well as hooking plenty of catfish from the neighbour’s pond.

Lucie said: “The cats have given up their hunting, and now divide their time between the kids’ beds, a sunny spot in the window, and any lap they can find.

“For their birthday, we will be treating them to a bit of fish, perhaps with a candle stuck in it.

“Sam has delivered the Gazette for two years, and always stops part way along the route to have a flick through the paper. He will be very proud to see his cats in there!”