Cat-loving celebrities are showing their support for Cats Protection’s prestigious National Cat Awards 2012 taking place at The Savoy in London on the 16th of August. The awards are designed to celebrate the real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival in the cat world.

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

With all the judges self-confessed “cat people”, they have been handed the difficult task of choosing the winning cats from a shortlist of three nominees in the following categories – Best Friends, Hero Cat, Most Incredible Story and Outstanding Rescue Cat.

Rick Wakeman sums up his arduous decision in the Best Friends category by saying, “No two cats are remotely the same so it’ll be tough deciding which has been the best cat friend from so many deserving entries.”

Rick’s category includes Morgan who helped his owner cope with depression, Alfie, a loyal companion to a teenager suffering from a condition called Behcets Syndrome and Jessi-Cat who whose unconditional love for a seven-year-old boy helps him overcome an anxiety disorder.

Lucy Pinder is judging Hero Cat and will choose from Leo, the plucky puss who sent a would-be burglar running with his tail between his legs, Basil who saved his owners from a potentially fatal gas explosion and Charley who raised the alarm when his owner collapsed following a hypoglycaemic attack.

Lucy said, “I’m really impressed by the heroic things that the cats in my category have done to help their owners. I’d give them all first prize if I could. It just goes to show how cats have the ability to amaze and surprise us all.”

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 re-homes and reunites over 48,000 every year. To find out more about the charity, or if you want to adopt a cat, please visit www.cats.org.uk. The awards are sponsored by www.verdocatlitter.co.uk

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