MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A caring rescue cat has been named Great Britain’s National Cat of the Year for helping to comfort a young cancer patient, BBC News reported.
The black and white cat, named Genie, was designated the Overall Winner of the 2017 National Cat Awards at a London ceremony hosted by Cats Protection — a charity that helps cats — for comforting 11-year-old cancer patient Evie Henderson as she endured chemotherapy.
“When I’ve been too ill to have friends round or go outside and I’ve been stuck in the house, she’d come round me and that made me a lot happier and gave me great comfort,” she said.
During her treatments, Henderson would watch videos of Genie. The feline’s fur shedding helped Henderson cope with her own hair loss, she said.
“I missed her every day I was in the hospital, and my family could tell she missed me,” Henderson said. “She’s my best friend and is always there when I need her.”
Genie was a “great distraction” for Henderson throughout her series of treatments, said Henderson’s father, Chris Henderson.
“Evie was in the hospital for over 300 days so we spent a lot of time in the hospital and it just gave her something to look forward to when she did have those few precious days at home,” he said.
Evie Henderson was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. She said Genie would keep her company during long days indoors by sitting near her feet and playing with her knee.
Henderson is grateful for Genie’s presence and said her feline friend deserves the recognition.
“I think she’s great,” Henderson said. “She deserves it. She’s always been there for me.”