Could Rosie from Kentish Town be the National Cat of the Year?

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A cat from Kentish Town, London, who helped her owner cope with the sudden death of her husband has been named as a finalist in Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2019.

Rosie beat hundreds of other entries to take her place as one of three contenders in the Most Caring Cat category, celebrating cats that have a positive impact on their owner’s health or wellbeing,

The three-year-old puss was selected as a finalist in recognition of how she helped Deborah Elm, 37, following the tragic death of her husband Adam.

Adam, who had cystic fibrosis, was just 39 when he suffered a fatal stroke following a lung transplant which was intended to improve his quality of life.

Deborah said: “Adam had a difficult last couple of years, but the lung transplant was something which was meant to transform his life for the better. It was meant to be the beginning of a whole new chapter for us both, but it was not to be. Adam suffered a stroke and never regained consciousness after the operation.

“It was a very tough time and although I had family stay with me for a while, there came a time when I had to get used to living alone. Coming home to an empty flat was almost unbearable so that’s why I decided to get a cat.

“I had no idea just how much Rosie would help. Having her here when I get home is a great distraction from that overbearing sadness. She’s always happy to see me and making sure she’s fed and well cared-for gives me a great sense of purpose.

“I can never feel alone with Rosie, she’s always by my side. I often have trouble sleeping, but having her snuggled next to me is such a comfort. She’s helped me in ways I never thought possible.”

Deborah now needs to wait until Thursday 8 August when winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at London’s Savoy, an event attended by celebrities including entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, former England goalkeeper David Seaman and his wife, Dancing on Ice star Frankie Seaman.

Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards, organised by the UK’s largest cat charity and sponsored by PURINA®, is an annual celebration of the real-life stories of heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world.

If Rosie wins her category, she will also be in with a chance of being crowned National Cat of the Year, following in the paw prints of previous winner Theo, who helped his owner Charlotte Dixon survive a potentially fatal blood clot.

Cats Protection’s awards organiser Kate Bunting said: “Cats make great companions for all sorts of reasons, but Deborah and Rosie’s story shows just how important they can become. Rosie has been a constant source of comfort for Deborah, reassuring her that she’s never alone.”

Calum Macrae, Regional Director UK & Ireland at PURINA®, said: “The National Cat Awards is a wonderful celebration of everything we love about cats, in particular shining a spotlight on the incredible bond that can exist between pets and owners. At Purina, we’re passionate about enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them, so we’re thrilled to support the National Cat Awards once again this year.

“All the finalists are truly inspiring and go to show the hugely positive impact cats can have on people’s lives, for all sorts of reasons. From providing fun and friendship to being there for comfort and companionship, and even to sometimes saving lives. It’s no wonder that cats have earned a special place in our hearts and homes.”

Each category winner will receive a trophy, a £100 pet store voucher, a year’s subscription to Cats Protection’s The Cat magazine and a three months’ supply of Purina® cat food.

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