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12th July 2012

Fifteen fabulous felines have been announced as the finalists in Cats Protection's prestigious National Cat Awards 2012.

Three cats have been nominated in each of the five categories – Best Friends, Hero Cat, Most Incredible Story, Outstanding Rescue Cat and Celebrity Cat. The shortlist includes:

  • Leo, A plucky puss who scared off a would-be burglar
  • Charley, The life-saving moggy who raised the alarm when her diabetic owner collapsed
  • William, A determined puss who made an incredible journey home after a horrific dog attack
  • Midge, A one-eyed rescue cat who became an unlikely hit in the movie world.

Cats Protection's National Cat Awards, sponsored by Verdo Cat Litter, are designed to celebrate the real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival in the cat world. Previously known as the Rescue Cat Awards, the awards are now open to all the nation's 10.3 million cats.

Owners now face a nail-biting wait until a star-studded awards ceremony on Thursday 16 August at London's Savoy hotel when category winners will be announced and one lucky puss will be named overall winner and National Cat of the Year.

The event will be hosted by Channel 4 presenter Rick Edwards and celebrity judges include comedian Ed Byrne, former Yes keyboardist and star of Grumpy Old Men Rick Wakeman, model Lucy Pinder and ex- BBC newsreader Jan Leeming.

According to Kate Bunting, the Awards organiser at Cats Protection, the celebrity judges are going to have a hard job picking the winners.

She said: “We had entries from across the length and breadth of the country and it was a tough job to narrow them down. Each and every entry we received told a tale about why cats have such a special place in people’s hearts, sometimes heart-rending, sometimes funny and often quite amazing!

“All the cats in the final are deserving winners and show the qualities that make cats so well-loved in the UK – companionship, courage, loyalty, determination and sensitivity.”

The winner of this year's awards will follow in the paw prints of a long line of feline heroes honoured by Cats Protection. Previous winners have included "moggy midwife" Marmite who loyally stuck by his owner's side during a difficult pregnancy and labour, and Tee Cee who became a lifeline to his epileptic owner with his ability to detect when he was about to have a seizure.

Cats Protection, the UK's leading feline welfare charity, has around 6,200 cats and kittens in its care at any one time and rehomes and reunites over 48,000 every year. To find out more about the charity, or if you want to adopt a cat, please visit our Find us page to find your nearest branch or call the charity's national helpline on 03000 12 12 12.

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