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Record-holding cats missing, feared dead after fire

[CHICAGO] The world's tallest cat and a fellow feline whose tail was the longest ever recorded were both feared dead on Monday after a fire destroyed their owners' home in the United States.

Cygnus, a Maine Coon cat with a shimmering 44.5cm tail, and his giant housemate Arcturus have been missing since Sunday morning's fire in a suburb of Detroit.

Their owners Will and Lauren Powers have asked neighbours to look out for the pair and are still holding out hope that they might have escaped in time, but fear the worst.

"We have lost literally everything. The house is gone," Will Powers wrote in a Facebook post.

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"I tried to save the cats but couldn't find them before I was overcome with smoke. We are nearly sure all perished."

Cygnus and Arcturus - a two-year-old Savannah cat measuring 53.6cm - became celebrities after being recognised by Guinness World Records.

The Powers run a cat shelter in Detroit and have set up a fundraising page in the name of Cygnus and Arcturus - which has so far raised more than US$2,500.