A line-up of fabulous felines has been introduced as finalists on this 12 months’s National Cat Awards, the UK’s celebration of every little thing we love about cats.
From fun-loving felines who assist youngsters face main challenges, to caring cats who present consolation in occasions of want, the marvellous moggies are all within the operating to be named Cats Protection’s National Cat of the Year 2022.
This 12 months’s prime cat will comply with within the pawprints of earlier winner Minty, a three-legged cat from Holywell, Wales, who helped six-year-old Connor Raven address extreme studying difficulties and medical situations.
The finalists on this 12 months’s Awards embrace:
- Jasper and Willow: The brother-and-sister duo who spend their days bringing consolation to sufferers, workers and guests at a hospice.
- Archie: The loving ‘dialysis buddy’ who retains his kidney affected person proprietor firm in the course of the many hours she’s related to a life-saving machine.
- Chicken: Intuitive moggy Chicken, who shares an unimaginable bond with an 11-year-old boy who has autism and suffers with anxiousness.
Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards, organised by the UK’s largest cat charity, recognises the unimaginable bond between cats and folks. The 4 classes embrace Cat Colleagues, sponsored by Feliway, which shall be voted for by members of the general public through a vote on the Cats Protection’s web site (www.cats.org.uk) which is able to happen between 10-13 June. Other class winners shall be chosen and introduced by movie star judges together with entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, Lioness Ellen White, and comic Bob Mortimer.
An total winner shall be chosen as National Cat of the Year by a celeb panel, together with actress Gaynor Faye, drag artist Ginny Lemon, Dancing on Ice star Frankie Seaman and ex-England footballer David Seaman MBE, and shall be introduced on Thursday 4 August at an awards ceremony at The Savoy in London.
Cat-loving England and Manchester City footballer Ellen White is without doubt one of the celebrities supporting this 12 months’s occasion. She mentioned: “Like tens of millions of different individuals, I believe cats are good, so I jumped on the probability of being concerned on this 12 months’s National Cat Awards. The awards are all about celebrating every little thing we love about cats – whether or not it’s their entertaining antics or the consolation and companionship they create to so many individuals. I’m actually trying ahead to serving to to showcase a few of the UK’s most wonderful cats and highlighting what fantastic pets cats could be.”
Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards organiser Kate Bunting mentioned: “Cats make unimaginable pets for all kinds of houses, and this 12 months’s finalists actually go to indicate how there’s a cat for everybody. Whether it’s being a buddy to youngsters who might face additional challenges in life, offering companionship to those that might in any other case be alone or bringing a chilled presence on the office, cats can remodel individuals’s lives for the higher. We hope this 12 months’s National Cat Awards will assist extra individuals see the various advantages of cat possession and contemplate adopting a cat.”
Winners in every of the 4 classes – Most Caring Cat, Furr-ever Friends, Outstanding Rescue Cat and Cat Colleagues – will every win a prize bundle of a trophy, a £200 pet retailer voucher and a 12 months’s subscription to Cats Protection’s The Cat journal. The winner of National Cat of the Year can even obtain an extra total successful trophy.
Full List of Finalists in Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2022 are:
Dylan, of Southampton, Hampshire.
Every day, Dylan follows proprietor Rebecca Welch to her backyard workplace the place she works as a specialist mentor for college college students with challenges equivalent to ADHD or despair. Opening up could be laborious for some college students, however that’s the place Dylan is available in. Whether he’s snoozing, enjoying or purring, Dylan’s onscreen antics assist college students really feel extra relaxed and get extra from their classes with Rebecca. Rebecca mentioned: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, all my work has been on-line with Dylan usually by my facet. Dylan typically makes an look in the course of the classes, and the scholars are at all times delighted to see him. If they’re upset, lacking dwelling and their very own pets or struggling in different areas, seeing Dylan and chatting about him could be a actual consolation. It can break the ice, and assist college students really feel extra relaxed and capable of speak about points they need assistance with. When the pandemic began, many college students felt notably remoted, and seeing Dylan on-line helped the classes appear much less formal. Dylan likes to carry me sticks he finds within the backyard, or curl up on the keyboard, and his antics at all times assist everybody really feel extra relaxed. Dylan has additionally been an amazing companion for me, notably because the begin of the pandemic. I’ve an auto-immune sickness so was shielding in addition to attending to grips with homeworking and having him by my facet actually helped me really feel much less remoted.”
Marley, of Chichester, West Sussex
The Apuldram Centre is a particular place serving to adults with studying difficulties. No matter what’s going on, ultra-friendly Marley is sure to be concerned. Marley is a giant a part of life on the centre, the place he spends his days attending workers conferences, becoming a member of in actions with purchasers, and chasing birds off the vegetable patch. Activity Support Worker Richard Manning mentioned: “We have plenty of actions for individuals who come to the day centre, equivalent to arts and crafts, gardening and dance – and Marley will get caught into all of them. He likes to be round individuals, so on a typical day he’ll try to get spherical to see as many purchasers as attainable and become involved in all of the actions. Our purchasers like to see Marley they usually at all times go away completely happy after spending a while with him. He makes them chuckle along with his humorous antics, but additionally has a chilled impact if persons are having a foul day. He’s extremely popular with the workers too, at all times serving to with no matter is occurring. During lockdown, with fewer workers on web site, it was very quiet. For the workers remaining, having Marley round was much-needed firm and luxury throughout a tough time.”
Milo, of Matlock, Derbyshire
At the Presentation Sisters Care Centre the place he lives, Milo actually is without doubt one of the group. Each day, he gives consolation to residents who love to talk, play and cuddle with him. Always completely happy to take a break with workers, Milo additionally loves to fulfill new guests, serving to make the care dwelling a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere for everybody. Care assistant Katie Thornley mentioned: “Milo is essentially the most relaxed and calming cat, at all times completely happy to cease for a fuss and a cuddle. He brings a lot consolation to workers, guests and residents and is a giant a part of each day life. Because he’s so light, he makes a beautiful pet, and lots of of our residents like to have him go to them of their rooms. Stroking and chatting to Milo brings them a lot pleasure, notably those that are much less cellular or have reminiscence loss. Milo brings a extremely homely really feel wherever he goes, and that’s the atmosphere we wish for our residents. He is one thing we will all look after and speak about collectively, and we’ve seen a extremely constructive impact from having him round.”
Chicken, of Thatcham, Berkshire
Chicken shares an unimaginable bond with Elliot Abery, 11, who has autism and suffers with anxiousness. When Elliot is going through annoying occasions, simply speaking about his trustworthy feline buddy is sufficient to assist carry calm. And when Elliot wants quiet time however doesn’t need to be alone, Chicken is by his facet for firm and a soothing purr. Mum Jenny Abery, 45, defined: “Elliot and Chicken share a particular bond which is not like something I’ve ever seen. They are usually collectively, whether or not it’s cuddling underneath blankets or enjoying video games, and their friendship is a big supply of consolation to Elliot. Elliot talks about Chicken so much, and she or he’s extremely vital to him. When he’s had a troublesome day or is battling anxiousness, speaking about Chicken has a chilled impact on him. We joke about how lazy she could be, or what she might have been as much as whereas he’s at college, and it helps him re-focus if he’s been burdened. Taking care of Chicken is essential to Elliot, he at all times needs to verify she’s completely happy. She simply dotes on him and isn’t removed from Elliot. Sometimes Elliot wants quiet time, however he might not essentially need to be alone. Having Chicken by his facet means there’s somebody there who doesn’t have any expectations of him – he can simply sit and be himself with Chicken. Chicken and Elliot are simply good collectively and I actually hope their story will assist spotlight how unimaginable cats could be for individuals with autism.”
Max, of Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Swift, who has a chromosome dysfunction, autism, epilepsy and studying difficulties, shares an unimaginable bond together with her greatest buddy Max. Not solely is he a playmate and companion, Max even raises the alarm when Jessica has a seizure. And Jessica takes care of Max by serving to him take his each day coronary heart medicine. Whatever comes their approach, Max and Jessica face it collectively. Mum Zoe Curtis defined: “Max and Jessica are inseparable, they usually get a lot enjoyment from one another’s firm. Whenever Jessica has been in hospital, Max is simply not himself, he paces round after which simply jumps into her arms as quickly as she will get dwelling. Jessica can typically have seizures within the evening, and now we have an alarm to tell us when that is occurring. But Max is usually already on the case, operating to us to tell us we have to come and assist Jessica. After she’s had a seizure, he’ll cuddle up near her, which is such a consolation for her. Max has his personal well being issues, as he has a coronary heart situation which wants each day medicine. Jessica will maintain him whereas I give him his pill – there’s nobody else he’ll permit to try this. Jessica may have little tea events for her toys, and Max at all times joins in. The love they’ve for one another is obvious for everybody to see. In Max, Jessica has a greatest buddy and a continuing companion.”
Teddy, of Braunston, close to Daventry, Northamptonshire.
Thirteen-year-old Harry, who has autism and ADHD, struggles with anxiousness, making it laborious to depart the home or attend faculty. But because of Teddy, Harry doesn’t need to face his challenges alone. Always there to share a recreation, snuggle up for a nap or just for firm and help, Teddy helps Harry address on a regular basis life. Mum Lucy Batchelor defined: “The mixture of shifting as much as secondary faculty and lockdowns have been very laborious for Harry and in consequence he’s not capable of attend faculty for the time being. It means life could be fairly lonely for him, and he struggles so much with anxiousness when leaving the home. Harry was very critical about wanting a kitten and began doing additional chores and odd jobs round the home to earn the cash to purchase issues like litter trays and scratching posts. And in the summertime of final 12 months, we bought Teddy, who has been an unimaginable help and buddy to Harry ever since. Teddy has a beautiful calming affect. Having ADHD means Harry could be loud and energetic, however Teddy helps him to relax, and is so trusting the place different cats may be scared. If Harry will get upset or indignant Teddy helps him to settle. They are inseparable – wherever Harry is, Teddy isn’t far behind. They clearly adore one another and taking good care of Teddy has been nice for Harry’s confidence. Teddy has been a distraction from the dangerous issues, and a buddy to share enjoyable occasions with. Harry says that Teddy simply makes him completely happy, and that’s what makes Teddy so particular to our household.”
Most Caring Cat
Archie, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
For 23 years kidney affected person Maddy Warren has wanted life-saving dialysis to take away lethal toxins from her physique. Five occasions per week, she connects to a machine for as much as seven hours – all underneath the shut watch of her dialysis buddy, Archie. Archie is aware of when Maddy wants house to insert needles, earlier than hopping up for a cuddle and to maintain her firm within the lengthy hours forward. Maddy mentioned: “I’m very constructive about my dialysis and really feel fortunate it retains me alive, however there’s no denying it’s a burden too. Having Archie round makes it so a lot better for me – he’ll cuddle up near me and organize himself across the blood tubes related to the needles. I do my dialysis at evening and although the machine is noisy and infrequently sounds varied alarms and bleeps, he chooses to stick with me all through. It’s a consolation to not be alone, and he someway manages to steadiness being extremely humorous with bringing a way of calm. It’s simply what I would like throughout these lengthy hours. What’s exceptional is that Archie appears to instinctively know once I’m doing the extra advanced elements of dialysis – the connecting and disconnecting, which must be very sterile. When I’m doing this, he’ll transfer away and provides me house, and as quickly as every little thing in in place, he’ll be over for a cuddle. He actually is essentially the most unimaginable dialysis buddy and I’m so grateful to have him.”
Misty, of Poole, Dorset
Coral Jones was simply 14 when she developed costochondritis, a painful situation that left her bedridden and unable to stroll. But all through all of it, she had a loyal buddy by her facet for consolation and cuddles – Misty. And when Coral finally discovered to stroll once more, it was Misty who would cheer her on – showing at any time when she heard the sound of Coral’s crutches on the bottom. Six years on, and Coral – now aged 22 -, suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction because of her ordeal, however Misty is there to calm her. Coral says: “I used to be bedridden with little or no mobility for about two years, which was extremely laborious. I used to be in ache, lonely and was mainly watching my physique waste away earlier than my eyes. My one glimmer of hope was Misty, who was with me day-after-day. She’d sit with me and was a buddy once I didn’t have any others. When I used to be in a wheelchair, I typically felt invisible to everybody other than Misty – she was at all times there for me. Eventually I used to be capable of begin strolling on crutches, however it was exhausting and an extended highway to restoration. When I got here dwelling from faculty, Misty would hear the banging of my crutches and are available speeding out to fulfill me up the highway – it was the most effective a part of the day, and it was like she was cheering me on. As properly because the sickness, I had plenty of painful procedures and nonetheless have traumatic flashbacks the place I collapse. When this occurs, it’s Misty that brings me spherical – she headbutts me, cuddles up subsequent to me and stays with me. It works each time and helps calm me and brings me out of my trauma assault.”
Spuds, of Bessbrook, County Armagh
Former stray Spuds might have saved the lives of six individuals – together with a new child child – when he raised the alarm as lethal smoke engulfed the household dwelling. Looking ahead to a big day, Brendan Curran and spouse Jane had popped the turkey within the oven to cook dinner in a single day on Christmas Eve earlier than turning into mattress. With different relations additionally asleep – together with Brendan’s two-week-old grandson – they have been oblivious to the potential catastrophe unfolding downstairs because the kitchen crammed with smoke. Fortunately, Spuds was there to lift the alarm – repeatedly leaping onto Brendan’s chest to wake him earlier than main him to the kitchen. Brendan defined: “Spuds will not be an affectionate cat, he’s a former stray and though he likes to be a part of the household, he’s not touchy-feely. So, when he jumped on my chest as I slept, it was out of character. I took him downstairs, a bit irritated that he’d woken me, and once I opened the kitchen door there was a wall of smoke. I couldn’t see the partitions. The fats from the turkey had been dripping within the oven, making it exceptionally scorching and creating plumes of smoke. The smoke alarms hadn’t gone off, and I genuinely suppose if Spuds hadn’t raised the alarm issues may have been very completely different.”
Outstanding Rescue Cat
Jasper and Willow, of Haywards Heath, Sussex
Brother-and-sister duo Jasper and Willow are much-valued members of the group at St Peter & St James Hospice. The two cats spend their days visiting sufferers receiving finish of life care, serving to households and associates really feel comfortable, and bringing a ray of sunshine to workers on tough days. Since arriving in 2018, the pair have introduced consolation to numerous individuals on the hospice. Front of home supervisor for St Peter & St James Hospice Jackie Manville defined: “Jasper and Willow have had a vastly constructive impact on on a regular basis life on the hospice and are a lot valued members of the group. They spend numerous time with sufferers and their households and associates, bringing consolation to these on the finish of life and to those that are grieving. A whole lot of time is spent sitting and watching and having our cats to stroke actually helps, making the hospice extra homely. Jasper particularly appears to intuitively know when sufferers are having a tough day, or if they’re in want of firm. He’ll hop onto the mattress and simply sit quietly, purring away. It’s sufficient to lift a smile and helps individuals chill out once they’re feeling tense and frightened. For the workers too, having, Jasper and Willow round is fantastic. On a tough day, simply strolling across the nook and seeing them is sufficient to offer you a elevate. During the pandemic, their fixed presence was an enormous consolation to everybody in tough occasions.”
Millie, of Worle, Somerset
Jennifer Voisey was 26 when she hit all-time low and felt suicidal. But one thing pulled her again – Millie. Thinking of her beloved cat impressed Jennifer to hunt pressing medical assist, and all through her restoration, Millie was at her facet. Despite struggling fibromyalgia issues at the moment are higher for Jennifer, and on the dangerous days, Millie remains to be there for consolation and help. She mentioned: “Things have been very dangerous, and at some point reached the purpose the place I actually couldn’t see a future – I used to be all-time low and feeling suicidal. One factor saved going by my thoughts – how would Millie be if I wasn’t round? I simply couldn’t bear the considered what might develop into of her with out me – she was my cat and my accountability. Soon after that, I went to the GP and that was the turning level for me. I bought remedy and began performing some voluntary work. All the time I used to be on the highway to restoration, Millie was with me each step of the way in which.” Six years on, and Jennifer’s life has circled – now dwelling with companion Oliver, she is a full-time work coach. But she says that although issues are brighter, Millie – who was adopted from Cats Protection as a kitten – nonetheless gives help throughout tough days. She mentioned: “I’ve fibromyalgia and my psychological well being will at all times want monitoring, so there’s positively days once I really feel down or am in ache. Millie is at all times there for me – she is aware of once I’m having a foul day and she or he cuddles into me. We name her Nurse Millie as a result of she’s so caring. She’s been my gentle within the darkest occasions.”
Murdoch, of Horsham, West Sussex.
When Murdoch was adopted by Gwen and Peter Lewis, he was a bag of nerves. Through love and perseverance, the couple received him spherical and he grew to become a much-loved pet. But tragedy struck when Peter died simply three weeks after he was recognized with leukaemia. This time it was Murdoch’s flip to be the robust one. Never leaving Gwen’s facet, serving to her address consolation, companionship and leisure. Gwen mentioned: “Peter died very all of a sudden, and it was an enormous shock and so much to return to phrases with. But Murdoch was there with me day-after-day and made it simpler for me to regulate. He made certain I used to be by no means alone, day or evening. Murdoch is such a personality, and he makes me chuckle along with his humorous habits, like splashing round and enjoying with a bowl of water on the patio. He is at all times round for a cuddle and somebody to speak to as I potter round the home. Without him I believe I might have felt very lonely, however it’s laborious to really feel lonely with Murdoch round – he’s such a giant persona.” Gwen’s daughter Jen Moore added: “Mum pours out her emotions to Murdoch and he listens, head turned in direction of her, taking in each phrase with figuring out eyes. He provides her objective and retains her to a routine. Mum frequently tells me she doesn’t know what she would do with out him. He has eased her loneliness and made life extra bearable for her. It seems like they’ve rescued one another, albeit seven years aside.”
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