'Caring' cat who saved owner up for national award

Jennifer Voisey with her pet cat Millie

Jennifer Voisey with her pet cat Millie, who is nominated in the 'Outstanding Rescue Cat' category in this year's Cats Protection National Cat Awards - Credit: Adam Gasson/PA Wire

A cat from Worle who inspired her owner to seek treatment when she felt suicidal could scoop a national award.

Good Samari-cat Millie has been named as a finalist in Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2022.

The black-and-white puss beat hundreds of other entries to take her place as one of three contenders in the Outstanding Rescue Cat category, celebrating cats that have been adopted from animal charities.

The 12-year-old moggy was selected as a finalist in recognition of the support she has given to owner Jennifer Voisey since she suffered a serious mental health crisis in 2016. 

Jennifer said: "Things were very bad, and one day reached the point where I really couldn’t see a future - I was rock bottom and feeling suicidal.

"One thing kept going through my mind – how would Millie be if I wasn’t around? I just couldn’t bear the thought of what may become of her without me – she was my cat and my responsibility.

"Soon after that, I went to the GP and that was the turning point for me. 

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"I got treatment and started doing some voluntary work. All the time I was on the road to recovery, Millie was with me every step of the way."

Six years on, Jennifer’s life has turned around – now living with partner Oliver, she is a full-time work coach. 

But she says that even though things are brighter, Millie – who was adopted from Cats Protection as a kitten - still provides support during difficult days.

She said: "I have fibromyalgia and my mental health will always need monitoring, so there’s definitely days when I feel down or am in pain. 

"Millie is always there for me – she knows when I’m having a bad day and she cuddles into me. We call her Nurse Millie because she’s so caring. She’s been my light in the darkest times."

Jennifer now faces a nail-biting wait until August 4, when winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel, an event attended by celebrities including entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, Lioness Ellen White, actress Gaynor Faye, drag artist Ginny Lemon, Dancing on Ice star Frankie Seaman and ex-England footballer David Seaman MBE.

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

If Millie 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 Minty, a three-legged cat from Holywell, Wales, who helped six-year-old Connor Raven cope with severe learning difficulties and medical conditions.

Awards organiser, Kate Bunting, said: "Millie and Jennifer’s story is incredibly moving and shows just what an important role cats can play in the lives of their owners. 

"Millie is a devoted cat and is a fantastic ambassador for rescue cats, showing just how intuitive, caring and loyal they can be."

Category winners will each win a prize package of a trophy, a £200 pet store voucher and a year's subscription to Cats Protection's The Cat magazine. 

The winner of National Cat of the Year will also receive an additional overall winning trophy.