A CAT from Poole who helped a teenager cope after an illness left her unable to walk for two years has been named as a finalist in Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2022.

Tortoiseshell cat Misty beat hundreds of other entries to take her place as one of three contenders in the Most Caring Cat category, celebrating cats that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing.

The 13-year-old was selected as a finalist in recognition of how she helped Coral Jones cope after she was diagnosed aged 14 with costochondritis, a painful condition affecting the cartilage of the rib cage.

The illness left Coral bedridden, causing muscle wastage which led to her being unable to walk for two years. Having missed large chunks of school, Coral, now aged 22, eventually built-up strength to walk again but still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following the ordeal.

Bournemouth Echo:

She said: “I was bedridden with very little mobility for about two years, which was incredibly hard. I was in pain, lonely and was basically watching my body waste away before my eyes. My one glimmer of hope was Misty, who was with me every day.

“She’d sit with me and was a friend when I didn’t have any others. When I was in a wheelchair, I sometimes felt invisible to everyone apart from Misty, she was always there for me.

“As well as the illness, I had lots of painful procedures and still have traumatic flashbacks which make me collapse. When this happens, it’s Misty that brings me round, she headbutts me, cuddles up next to me and stays with me. It works every time and helps calm me and brings me out of my trauma attack”.

Winners will be announced on August 4 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.

If Misty wins her category, she will also be in with a chance of being crowned National Cat of the Year.