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The search is on in the north east for your most marvellous moggy

The search is on in the north east for your most marvellous moggy: Image 1 Love your cat almost as much as your soon-to-be husband or wife? If so why not take a minute away from the wedding planning and instead enter your beloved moggy in this year's National Cat Awards?

Cats Protection is asking cat owners in the north east to nominate their furry friends in this year's awards.

For over a decade, the awards have celebrated the difference cats make to owners' lives by highlighting heart-warming stories of devotion, companionship and courage.

Could your cat follow in the paw prints of Toby, from South Yorkshire, who won Cats Protection's Hero Cat Award last year? Annette Sterland-Burton suffered from functional neurological disorder, which caused memory and mobility problems as well as debilitating seizures. Yet thanks to intuitive Toby, who sensed when Annette was about to suffer a blackout, Annette was able to prepare herself and son Kieran, aged nine at the time.

Cats do not need to have been adopted from Cats Protection to be nominated for an award and owners have from 15 January until noon on Friday 8 March to enter one of five categories:

Hero Cat
Cats that save the day

Most Caring Cat
Cats that positively impact a person's health or wellbeing

Furr-ever Friends
Tales of friendship between children and cats

Outstanding Rescue Cat
Fabulous felines adopted from animal charities

PURINA® Better Together
Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human

The National Cat Awards is sponsored by PURINA® and a panel of celebrity cat-lovers will select the winners. The winning cats' owners will then be presented with their trophies at a star-studded ceremony at London's Savoy Hotel on Thursday 8 August – coinciding with International Cat Day.

Cats Protection's Awards organiser Kate Bunting said: “This event is the highlight of the feline calendar and gives us the chance to celebrate everything we love about cats.

“Every year, the entries we receive go to show why cats make such great pets – whether it's for helping their owners through times of sadness or loss, heroic moggies who come to the rescue or brave felines who survive against the odds.”

The overall winner will inherit the title of National Cat of the Year from Theo, who helped his owner Charlotte Dixon survive a potentially fatal blood clot.

Broadcaster and writer Andrew Collins, whose own cat Gerry was previously a stray, will be one of a panel of celebrity judges selecting the National Cat of the Year. He said: “Cats make a house a home and whatever stage of life they join you, it improves everything. The National Cat Awards honour acts of extraordinary bravery, empathy and loyalty. Humans are lucky to be chosen and adopted by cats of all ages.”

For further information about the awards email nationalcatawards@cats.org.uk or phone 03000 12 12 12. Anyone wishing to nominate their cat should visit www.cats.org.uk/national-cat-awards

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