Jake Lambert (28) is a stand-up comedian. His cat is called Richard Parker who he got as a kitten two years ago.
When Richard Parker was just nine months old, somebody shot him with an air rifle resulting in him losing an eye. Luckily he’s as tough as he is cute and brushed it off as just a scratch. He may be down to eight lives but he’s living this one to the full. He’s highly skilled, he jumps through hoop, shakes hands and has been trained to ring a bell when he wants a treat which is all down to me and definitely not my fiancé who is a vet nurse and animal behavioural expert.
He’s very social and is regularly visited by the other local cats and his best friend is a dog called Skye. We feel so lucky to have him as ours and we hope he feels the same. Cats are very independent and know to clean themselves regularly so, if anything, I think most men could learn a thing or two from cats.”
Director and filmmaker Philip Bloom (47) has five rescue cats
“Cats are amazing and I cannot imagine ever being without them in my life. They make everything that little bit better and when I go away with work or on holidays, not having them around does make me sad. I’m proud to be a cat dad and I’m not shy to show my love for my cats. I spam my Facebook and Instagram feed with videos and photos of them and I don’t care if people judge me on that.
Personally I think a man who shows love for any animal is more of a man than someone who doesn’t. To show warmth, compassion and love for our little four-legged friends is way more manly to me than any clichéd-perpetuating stereotype that exists. ”
Alan Harte (61) adopted Mr Colbie from Cats Protection’s Chiltern Branch four years ago.
“I decided to adopt Mr Colbie just from seeing him on Twitter. Apparently I was the only one to show an interest - possibly because he’s black and a bit older - but he was perfect for me. I wasn’t interested in a kitten shredding my curtains and causing havoc, although Mr Colbie does enjoy chewing my laces when I take my shoes off!
I live alone and also work shifts but he always gives me a nice welcome when I get in. Although he’s not a lap cat, he’s very affectionate and loves to be stroked. He particularly likes to sit with his paws on my feet and also sleeps on the bed at night. I love him to bits - we’re devoted to each other. He’s my best friend.”
Radio presenter Simon Osborne (50) from Worthing adopted his cat Bella from Cats Protection last year.
“Bella and I have such a great bond which has grown stronger in the first year she’s been with us. She’s ever so funny in all her mannerisms - whether it be play fighting, running (fast) after her ball or wanting to get inside the picture on the TV. She's talking more now and, in the last month or so, has plucked up the courage to be outside more - making friends with our neighbours’ cats.
She’s such a big part of my life as she receives so much of my time but she gives it back in her love for us. It’s been the best decision we've made since moving in and it's with a lot of thanks to Worthing Cats Protection who made the whole process go very smoothly. Being Bella's ‘dad’ is incredibly important to me. As long as she lives with us, we’ll always give her the most love and will make sure she’s always cared for. In return, she'll probably play-fight us, eat and sleep!”
Chris Eastwood (35) from Finchley, North London, adopted two older cats, Ruth and Rosie, from Cats Protection’s North London Centre last year and is running two marathons in their honour.
“I thought fundraising by running marathons would be a great way to share and return the love Ruth and Rosie have given us. It enables the cats that need help now to have the same great support they received as it costs Cats Protection a minimum of £180 for every cat it takes in.
It's always seemed strange to me that there seems to be a stronger connection in people’s minds between women and cats. I’m extremely proud to be a cat dad and believe every cat deserves the chance to discover a loving home as they can bring you calm, laughter and a lot of joy.”
Author Giles Paley-Phillips (41) lives in Seaford and has had his cat Mittens for four years.
“As I work from home, Mittens is great company. When we first got him at four months old he would sit on lap during the day while I wrote. Each morning he lays on my chest till I get him breakfast and in the evening he comes to eat when we eat.
He’s become a true companion who stops me from getting completely lonely on a work day at home. The children named him because he has four white paws, I wanted to call him Hobson after John Gieldud's character in the film Arthur, but the kids won!”
Shane Bagshaw (46) has a cat called Baby which Cats Protection is helping him to care for.
Shane had a tough start in life. He grew up in care, suffered abuse and became more withdrawn in his older years. He found it difficult to build relationships and problems with alcohol and drugs meant he led a chaotic lifestyle. After moving into shared housing, he heard banging from next door and went to investigate. He saw a small bundle of fluffy grey fur being used as a football as his neighbours were kicking and punching a cat that had followed them home.
Shane ran in and grabbed the cat and took it back to his room. His neighbours banged on his door trying to get the cat back but he wouldn’t let them in. He’d never had a cat before but knew he had to rescue it. A homeless charity has now moved Shane into new social housing - they don’t normally allow pets but have made an exception for Baby after hearing Shane’s story. Shane has severe epilepsy and was having 5-6 episodes a week. Since adopting Baby he now only has one or two a week - making a huge difference to his quality of life. He’s now trying to quit drinking and smoking and says Baby has given him something to live for.
Tommy Atkins (28) and John Beattie (32) adopted Bob from Cats Protection’s Gateshead branch last year.
Bob is a member of our family. Although he’s only lived with us for a year, we can’t imagine life without him. For one thing, I’ve never had so little memory on my phone – he’s way too photogenic! It’s the little things that make your everyday life with a cat special. He is a such a lovable cat and it’s been heart-warming to see how comfortable and confident he’s gotten with us and his surroundings.
Our advice to anyone adopting a cat would be to show love and provide for the animal, even if it is shy and distrusting at first. Love is a reciprocal thing for animals – they will come around and engage in a wonderful relationship if you treat them with care and respect. There’s a common misconception that cats are aloof and unappreciative of their owners. In our experience, that couldn't be further from the truth. Bob is loyal, loving and shares his big personality with us. Cats are also much more independent than dogs and make for better pets for a lot of men we know.”