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Long legs, longer marriage and a long-living cat: 11 Guinness World Records made in Austin

UT Austin alums John and Charlotte Henderson were the oldest living married couple before John's death in 2020. (UT Austin/Twitter)

While Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey may forever have Austin's hearts, plenty of other winners live in Austin's city limits, including seven Guinness World Record holders.

The books frequented at Scholastic Book Fairs feature past and current Austinites—from speedy burrito makers to ancient felines—that made their mark in their own niche categories.

Here's a look at those record-smashing feats:

World's longest legs (female): Maci Currin (4.4 ft)

Cedar Park teenager Maci Currin strutted into the 2021 World Record book with her record-setting legs. At nearly a meter and a half in length (her longest leg checks in at 53.255 inches,) the 6 ft 10 teenager is no stranger to standing out.

Currin, who said she's been bullied for her height in the past, hopes the recognition will inspire other tall girls to embrace their height as she hopes to move into the modeling industry.

Oldest married couple (2020): John and Charlotte Henderson

Not-so-newly weds, UT alumni John and Charlotte Henderson tied the knot before the Guinness Book of World Records had even started collecting records.

Before Austin's skyline featured much more than the Capitol, the two were married in 1939—83 years ago—after meeting in a UT zoology class in 1934. The two were named the oldest living married couple, when adding the two's ages, in early 2020.

At 107, John Henderson was also the oldest living Longhorn football player before his death in October 2020.

Fastest Sandwich made with feet: Rob Williams (1 minute 57 seconds)

Austinite Rob Williams is the ultimate bread-winner.

Williams became the fastest person to make a sandwich with his feet when his nimble toes crafted a bologna, cheese and lettuce sandwich, complete with olives on cocktail sticks, in a minute and 57 seconds. An audience member named Sally was lucky (or unlucky) enough to take a bite out of the record-breaking sandwich after it was created by the Kamikaze Fireflies member at Austin's Zach Scott Theater in 2000.

Biggest dog hair ball: Texas Hearing and Service Dogs (201 pounds)

Texas Hearing and Service Dogs put together a hefty hairball when it gathered fur from over 8,000 dogs to create a 201-pound fur ball. The bundle of fur became the heaviest on record and weighed more than the average weight of even the world's largest dog breeds.

Oldest Cat: Creme Puff (38)

Speaking of hairballs: Creme Puff the cat probably coughed up her fair share in her 38-year life.

The record-setting feline was born in 1967 and lived with her owner, Jake Perry, in Austin until August 3, 2004, breaking the record as the oldest cat on record.

Her secret? Dry cat food, broccoli, eggs, turkey bacon, coffee, and even an eyedropper full of red wine every two days.

Perry, who also had a cat named Granpa Rex Allen live to age 34, kept his home fit for kitty royalty, complete with a movie theater in his garage that played nature documentaries for their entertainment.

Most contributions to a painting: Schlotzsky's (2,643)

Austin's original sandwich chain earned a spot on the list after a whopping 2,643 residents contributed to a paint-by-numbers mural at Schlotzsky's original location on its 46th birthday in 2017.

Sloke One, the “Mayor of Austin Graffiti Art,” crafted a colorful outline of a giant sandwich in front of an Austin skyline to commemorate the chain.

Most lanyards worn at once: Guillermo Rodriguez (300)

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel paid witness to a world record-smashing moment when the strong-necked Guillermo Rodriguez wore a whopping 300 lanyards at his Jimmy Kimmel Live! SXSW appearance in 2015.

In a performance that was more slow-paced than Rodriguez probably would have liked, Kimmel put on the 300th lanyard as Rodriguez was presented a plaque to commemorate the feat.

Most burritos made in three minutes: London Nichols (10)

After getting plenty of practice as an employee at Austin-based Freebirds World Burrito, London Nichols broke the burrito-wrapping record as she made 10 burritos in just three minutes at SXSW in 2017.

Smallest test tube: UT scientists (2009)

Though it may have been hard to see the accomplishment, scientists at UT made the world record book as they conducted an experiment with a test tube with a diameter equivalent to one-thousandth of human hair in 2009.

Most haircuts in an hour: Ivan Zoot (34)

Customers may have cried after their rapidly-executed cuts were revealed, but barber Ivan Foot still earned respect as he completed 34 haircuts at the Men's Grooming Center in Austin in 2008.


‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.

As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.

“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”

Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.

“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”

Actually, a purr-fect idea.

Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.

At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”

Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.

“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”

Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.

“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”

Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.

“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”

Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.

“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”

And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.

“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”

Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.

“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”

Austin's 7 Best Indian Restaurants

We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.

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