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Purrfect Romford cat crowned best feline in Britain

Cookie won thanks to a video of her purring soothingly

A cat from Romford has been crowned the winner of the Alternative Cat Awards.

21-year-old Cookie won the “Senior Kitizen” category of the competition, arranged by the charity Cats Protection, and then won a public vote of all five category winners.

Cats Protection runs the National Cat Awards each year, but they had to do things differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cat owners submitted videos of their pets online, with celebrity judges then picking their favourites.

Cookie went up against four other cats in a vote to decide the overall winner, and came out on top in the public poll.

Comedian Bob Mortimer presented the nomination video, and said Cookie’s purr was “so soothing!”

He added: “The Senior Kitizen category celebrates why older cats are brilliant and gorgeous Cookie is a worthy winner.”

Watch the video of the five finalists here:

Cookie’s owners, Holly Webb and Hannah Black, entered her into the competition when they saw it advertised on social media.

The moggie had recently had an operation to remove 11 teeth from her mouth when Holly filmed the video of her purring.

She was going to post the video anyway but entered it into the competition on a whim as well.

It came as a shock to find out Cookie had won, but her owners are proud of their pet, who they’ve owned for the last three years.

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” said Hannah. “The fact that she is award-winning is the icing on the cake, although she doesn’t seem to care, she doesn’t seem to know what’s going on but we’re very pleased.”

Holly added: “I didn’t expect it at all! I was surprised when she won her category and for her to win overall is amazing.

“She’s got such a loud purr. She purrs constantly, all the time! She’s a lovely, friendly, little girl.”

Cookie with Holly

During lockdown, Holly was furloughed and Hannah was working from home, meaning they got to enjoy spending extra time with Cookie.

Cats Protection’s Acting Head of Media Relations Katy Geary said: “During lockdown, we heard countless stories of how the nation’s pet cats were helping their owners during such unprecedented times.

“Whether it was providing a welcome distraction when we were all getting to grips with homeworking, being a companion to people living alone, or becoming a playmate for children missing their school friends, our pet cats have been an invaluable support to many of us.

“There can only be one winner but our Alternative Cat Awards was all about celebrating everything we love about cats and the joy and laughter they bring to a home, especially in difficult times.”

The awards, sponsored Purina, received hundreds of entries from across the UK.

Calum Macrae, from the pet food company, said: “One of our key beliefs at Purina is that people are better with pets – especially during these last few months, so we were delighted to partner with Cats Protection to celebrate the contribution cats have made during lockdown.”

With the award ceremony unable to go ahead this year, Holly and Hannah have been invited to attend the National Cat Awards at London’s Savoy Hotel in August 2021.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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