Stray Cat Who Helped Grief-stricken Teenager Cope After His Stepdad ‘s Death Nominated for Award!

The stray cat turned up at West End family home and suddenly, a young boy had “this little bundle which needed him”

This gorgeous cat who helped the teenage boy cope with the death of his stepfather could be in line for a national award.

He’s six years old and his name is Smokie. Smokey recently beat hundreds of other felines to be shortlisted in the Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2016.

The beautiful black and white kitty has been nominated in the “better together” category, which celebrates the bond which can transform the lives of owners and their cats .

Smokie won her place after helping her 18-year-old human, whose name is Stefan, come to terms with the death of his stepfather, who died of cancer back in 2013.

Back in August 2014, she turned up as a bedraggled stray at Stefan’s family home in Kerria Way.

Owner, Jane Leggott, stated: “Out of nowhere this little cat arrived on our doorstep, thin and looking rather sorry for herself.

“We could see she clearly had a problem with her eyes and took her to a vet, who said she had a congenital eye problem which means she can’t see close up and bumps into things easily.

“We took her home to care for her while we tried to trace an owner. “After a month, no-one had been found so the vet said he would take her to a rehoming centre. But by then we were smitten and decided to keep her.”

‘Mutual bond’

Owner Jane Leggott and son Stefan, 21, with Smokie.
Owner Jane Leggott and son Stefan, 21, with Smokie.


The new addition didn’t take long at all to settle into the family, forming a special attachment with Stefan.

“She would follow him around, cuddle in close to him and never left his side,” his mother stated.

“He had been very close to his stepdad and it was a very sad time for Stefan, yet suddenly he had this little bundle who needed him and was there for him.

“It’s been very touching to see both Smokie and Stefan’s lives transformed.

“We thought this little stray who kept bumping into things needed us – in fact, we needed her just as much.”

An award ceremony will soon be held on August 4 at The Savoy in London and that’s where the results will be announced.

If she is the winner in her category, Smokie will also be in with a chance of being crowned National Cat of the Year, following in the paw prints of previous winner Nelson, who is a one-eyed former stray from County Durham, who survived near drowning and 15 years living rough.

Cats Protection awards organizer Kate Bunting stated: “Stefan and Smokie’s story just goes to show the mutual bond which can have a profound effect on the lives on both an owner and their cat.

“Smokie turned up exactly when Stefan needed her and she now finally has the loving, safe and secure home that she desperately needed.”

A spokesperson for sponsors PURINA went on to say: “We are delighted to celebrate our long-standing support of Cats Protection and the amazing work it does by once again sponsoring its National Cat Awards.

“The PURINA® Better Together Award is a category very close to our hearts because we believe that people and pets are better together and that, when they bond, life becomes richer.”

Cats are angels. Was there ever any doubt?


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