The winners of the National Cat Awards were announced last week in the United Kingdom. Run by the Cats Protection organization, the ceremony pays tribute to the finest felines in the land, whether because of a cat’s heroic acts or willingness to overcome heartbreaking bouts of adversity. Here’s a run through of six of the winners, complete with video capsules about each honorable victor. Salute!
The grand National Cat of the Year award went to Nelson, a dignified 20-year-old feline whose backstory is the stuff of a tumultuous novella: He was rescued by an eagle-eyed fisherman from a sack of kittens thrown into the sea, and then spent years living along the docks, during which he lost an eye after a brutish gang of kids threw rocks at him. He occasionally sought refuge in a fisherman’s cabin before eventually being given a forever home by a local family in 2009.
Unfortunately, Nelson was then soon diagnosed with an inoperable heart tumor — although he has since astounded the veterinary community by seeming to fight back and survive. Now he’s nabbed the award of National Cat of the Year (along with also scooping the Most Incredible Story title) — and justifiably so.
The Hero Cat award is bestowed on a feline showing great intuition and bravery when confronted with danger. This year it was nabbed by Cleo, whose frantic running up and down the stairs helped alert Richard Jenkins’s wife that he was having a heart attack. The emergency services were called and Richard underwent vital emergency treatment, all thanks to Cleo.
The five-year-old Legz may only lay claim to having three limbs, but that hasn’t stopped the chirpy kitty from becoming a regular in the local London pub he now lives in. Such is Legz’ personable nature towards the other customers that he’s been awarded the title of this year’s Outstanding Rescue Cat.
The portly Elias waddled home with the Most Caring Cat accolade, given out to the feline who has a positive impact on their owner’s well-being. In this case, the three-year-old Elias helped out his army veteran owner’s battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Bravo, Elias!
This year’s Better Together award went to Mr. Chips, a stray who was found with a broken leg, which turned into a lifelong disability. He’s ended up finding a new home with Ian Turner, who himself had been diagnosed with what is described as a “complex medical condition,” which has seem him undergoing over a dozen operations. Now Mr. Chips and Ian rely on each other for support, good times, and always healthy cuddles.
Finally, the Special Recognition award was given to Holly, a six-year-old tortoiseshell feline. After her owner, Keith Smith, lost his four grandchildren in a house fire, along with having his own son pass away, Holly has taken on the role of his comforting life companion. Well played, Holly.
Check out more details on the award winners, along with details about the runners-up in each category, over at the Cats Protection’s honor roll website, and keep up with Cats Protection on Facebook and on Twitter.
Read stories of rescue and love on Catster:
About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.