In the last 35 years, I’ve always found myself around pets. Either my own pets, other people’s, even studying what goes on inside and outside of them; but whatever the reason, they never fail to interest me and I constantly end up learning more and more about them.
But what’s even more fascinating to me is that extra-special bond between pet and owner. It’s hard to put into words but if we were to try, I’m sure ones like ‘trust’, ‘respect’, ‘friend’ and ‘companionship’ would all feature pretty highly on our lists.
So it was with great pleasure a couple of weeks ago that I was invited along to the prestigious Cats Protection’s Rescue Cat Awards – celebrating the crème de la crème of that extra-special bond between owner and pet and to honour the incredible real-life stories of survival, bravery and heroism in the rescue cat world.
I’ll tell you the overall winner in a moment, but just so you get an idea of the high standards of marvelous moggies out there, the individual category winners included Kizzy, a great source of love and support to her 22-year-old owner Anna, diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when she was just 7-years-old; as well as Struie and Meallie who’ve been a great source of comfort and joy to their owner’s parents during their final years of life.
An emotional day was stolen in the end by the gorgeous Speedy who provides vital support through times of loneliness and has a remarkable ability to fetch help whenever her owner needs it.
Speedy, from Suffolk, scooped the winning title for the constant companionship she provides to her owner, 19-year-old Christine Payne, who suffers with a range of conditions including progressive spinal ataxia, epilepsy and severe learning difficulties.
The tabby two-year-old Speedy stays by Christine’s side at all times, helping to relieve some of her owner’s extreme loneliness. Astonishingly Speedy can also sense Christine’s seizures and is quick to alert Christine’s parents.
Speedy’s amazing story touched the hearts of everyone at the star-studded awards ceremony, held at The Pharaoh’s Palace Hospitality Suite at London’s O2 (as a tribute to Bast, the Ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess).
Thank you Cat Protection for a thoroughly moving occasion, and, not that we need it, further proof of how cats continue to play such important roles in all our lives.
From times of bereavement to being our companions in times of loneliness, and they can even be heroes in times of trouble. Rescue cats really do make truly wonderful pets.
Please visit www.cats.org.uk for more information.