Purina Better Together
Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human.
Winner - Spike
A rare form of motor neurone disease makes everyday life a challenge for Mark Styles. Eating, walking and talking can all be difficult, yet with his faithful feline Spike by his side, life becomes more bearable. Spike, who was found abandoned with his mother as a young kitten 17 years ago, has his own health difficulties and needs daily medication for a thyroid condition.
Despite both of their physical limitations, Spike and Mark give each other the motivation to remain as active as possible, and the pair are inseparable.
TV presenter Tim Vincent announced the winner at the ceremony at The Savoy Hotel in London and presented Spike’s owner, Mark Styles, with his award.
Mark, who has a rare form of motor neurone disease, said: “Spike has always been very special to us and we’re delighted that the public have also taken him to their hearts and voted for him. It’s such a wonderful day and we can’t quite believe what has just happened!”
Mark’s wife Katy explained: “Daily life is hard for Mark. Eating, walking and talking can all be difficult, yet with Spike by his side, he is able to cope much better.
“Spike had a tough start to life and had been abandoned as a kitten. He now also has a thyroid condition and needs daily medication.
“With both their health problems they share a close bond, and keep each other active. They are inseparable, so if one of them decides to go for a potter in the garden, the other will normally follow. Spike’s company is such a morale boost for Mark, especially on the more difficult days.”
Washed away from her feral mother during heavy storms, Fish was just one week old when she was found lying helplessly in a puddle. Bedraggled, injured and unable to fend for herself, the black-and-white kitten would have certainly died had she not been plucked to safety by Charley Holmes, 22, and partner Joel Kirk, 23.
While Fish owes her life to the couple’s care, Charley, who has bipolar disorder, and Joel soon realised that the tiny kitten had helped them too. Charley said: “She brought the sunshine back into our lives, and things are so much brighter with her around.”
When Louise and Anthony Trower’s son Bailey died suddenly aged 11 from an undiagnosed stomach condition, their world fell apart. But a small ray of sunshine arrived eight weeks later when grey puss Tank appeared in their garden – and refused to budge.
Despite being returned to his loving home, Tank kept returning, and eventually his previous owner told the couple: “He’s chosen you, you had better keep him.” Since then, Tank has been an immense support to the couple as they adjust to life without Bailey. Louise said: “Tank has his own problems, having previously suffered a broken jaw, which left him with nerve damage. I truly believe he was sent to us for a reason, and I find that very comforting.”