Fantastic felines are competing at the National Cat Awards this evening (Thursday 8 August) to be crowned Top Cat - including six remarkable kittens from the Midlands.
The five categories are as follows:
- The 'Better Together' category, which celebrates the special bond that can transform the lives of cats and their owners.
- The 'Furrever Friends' category, which celebrates the special bond between children and cats.
- The 'Hero Cat', which celebrates cats that save the day.
- The 'Outstanding Rescue Cat', which celebrates cats adopted from rehoming charities.
- The 'Most Caring Cat', which celebrates cats that positively impact their owner’s health or wellbeing.
The winner of each will then be in with a chance of being crowned 'National Cat of the Year 2019'.
Here are the inspiring tales of the kitty contenders and their proud owners...
Douglas from Derby
The tabby was selected as a finalist because of how he helps owner Luci Mahon, 43, cope with a brain injury and the neurological condition M.E.
Luci and husband Geoff Fisher had previously taken in Douglas as an underweight stray and had nursed him back to health.
Herman from Buxton, Derbyshire
The three-year-old was selected as a finalist because of how he helped Claire Yates cope after her parents died suddenly, just one day apart in February 2018.
Soon after, Claire was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 42, and Herman was again there to offer support.
Jeffree from Coventry
The eight-year-old was selected as a finalist because of how he helped Finn Hackeson, 13, adjust after the sudden death of his dad in June 2018.
Because he has Asperger syndrome, Finn finds it difficult to communicate with people and had become increasingly depressed and withdrawn.
Walter from Swadlincote, Derbyshire
The nine-year-old was selected because of how he wakes his owner Hazel Parkyn when she’s about to suffer a potentially life-threatening hypoglycemic attack in her sleep.
Although some animals can be trained as medical emergency detection pets to alert their owners, Walter hasn't received any training.
JJ from Alcester, Warwickshire
The seven-year-old was selected because of how he helps his owner Edwina Norris who is 83, cope after being diagnosed with lymphoma cancer.
Cisco from Kettering
The 18-month-old was selected because of how he helped Charlie Hammond recover after he was mugged in 2017, aged just 14.