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Michael Phelps of cats loves to swim

It's winter in the southern hemisphere, but Melbourne's famous swimming cat doesn't mind staying out of the pool for a while — she has her baths to satisfy her love of water. That's right: Prinny the cat actually relishes taking a dip and practicing her doglike capacity to swim.
/ Source: PeoplePets.com

It's winter in the southern hemisphere, but Melbourne's famous swimming cat doesn't mind staying out of the pool for a while — she has her baths to satisfy her love of water.

That's right, Prinny the cat relishes taking a dip now and then, and her doglike capacity to swim and be wet has produced baffled headlines the world over.

Her owner, 19-year-old Rebecca Lee, has been pleasantly surprised by all the attention. To her, 2-year-old Prinny is just another one of her swimming cats — Lee's family has another cat, Tommy, who enjoys doing a few watery laps now and then.

"Even when she was little, we used to give her baths, and she never jumped out," Lee tells PEOPLEPets.com. "And then when we got the pool, she would always hang around. It was a really hot day, I had her in my arms, and I just decided to walk her in — and she liked it!"

When one of Lee's dogs, Bandit, was experiencing back problems, she decided to try water therapy, and took him to Doggy Paddle, a hydrotherapy pool. She told the owner, Jacque Olsen, about Prinny's unique abilities, and Olsen suggested that Lee bring Prinny in with Bandit as well.

Other observers of Prinny's aquatic nature are usually just confused.

"They don't understand why a cat actually likes swimming," she says, "but they think it's really weird and cool."