UNITED KINGDOM – A rescue cat who is from Peterborough who helped her owners cope with the death of their teenage daughter has recently scooped an award at Cats Protection’s prestigious National Cat Awards 2016.
Tortoiseshell kitty Jessie was named winner of the Outstanding Rescue Cat category, celebrating amazing cats adopted from animal charities, at a ceremony at The Savoy, which is in London.
Jessie was honored in recognition of the support and companionship she has given to her owner Tracey Jessop-Thompson and also her husband Stephen.
The couple re-homed Jessie from an animal charity just a few months after the sudden death of their 18-year-old daughter Lucy, who died having suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of an un-diagnosed heart condition.
Tracey, who is of Northborough, was at the event on Thursday August 4th to accept Jessie’s award from celebrity judge, Commonwealth Games gold medalist clay target shooter Charlotte Kerwood.
Tracey stated: “It means the world to me that Jessie has won this award. I don’t know how we would have coped if it wasn’t for the sunshine she brings to our lives. I hope other people will look at Jessie and realise that cats can bring great joy and comfort at the most difficult of times.
“Losing Lucy was indescribably hard and I’ve learned that comfort comes in all sorts of places, often where you don’t expect it. Jessie really has been such an incredible help to us, she has soothed me when the pain has felt too much to bear, made us smile during the darkest of days and been a constant presence in our lives.
“Jessie was a rescue cat and there are thousands of cats like her that need a home. We may have given her a home but Jessie has given us so much more – she’s given us hope and something to focus on and we feel so grateful she’s in our lives.”
Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards is the UK’s biggest celebration of the real-life stories of companionship, bravery and also survival in the cat world.
Other celebrities at the ceremony – which was hosted by BBC announcer and “voice of the balls” Alan Dedicoat – were ex-Eastenders actress Anita Dobson, presenter Tim Vincent, TV psychologist Jo Hemmings and author and broadcaster Andrew Collins.
Cat-loving Commonwealth Games gold medalist clay target shooter Charlotte Kerwood is the judge who chose Jessie as the winner of the Outstanding Rescue Cat category and presented Tracey with the prize of a trophy, a pet store voucher, a year’s subscription to Cats Protection’s The Cat magazine and a three-month supply of PURINA® pet food.
Charlotte stated: “Tracey and Jessie’s story really touched me. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child but the joy and love the family have got from Jessie is just amazing.”
Kate Bunting, the awards organizer at Cats Protection, explained that Jessie’s story was an inspiring one.
“Jessie is a truly special cat and we were thrilled to present her with this award. Her caring and intuitive nature makes her a great ambassador for rescue cats and we hope she will inspire many more people to adopt a cat,” she stated.
Having won her category Jessie just narrowly missed out on scooping the overall title of National Cat of the Year – an honor that went to Tink, a five-year-old puss who raised the alarm by waking her owners just as a fire engulfed their home as they slept.
PURINA® UK&I Finance Director Paul Vernon stated: “We are delighted to celebrate our long-standing support of Cats Protection by sponsoring the National Cat Awards. This is the fifth time PURINA® has sponsored the event and we are delighted to continue our partnership and support the wonderful work the organisation does.
“PURINA® is a proud supporter of pet adoption. Our current campaign to change the perceptions of rescue cats aims to encourage people to rethink rescues when they are considering owning a cat. We believe that people and pets are better together and that, when they bond, life becomes richer. The awards are a great platform for cat owners across the UK to share inspirational stories of how that special bond with their pets has improved their lives.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and it helps approximately 200,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centers. If you wish to adopt a cat please visit www.cats.org.uk or call the charity’s national helpline on 03000 12 12 12