A comeback kitty from Boston has been chosen from more than 1,000 entries to be one of 20 finalists in the Rescue Cat of the Year awards.
Ronnie has been shortlisted in the competition run by the dog and cat food manufacturer Royal Canin.
But if Ronnie is to be named top cat, and win himself and the centre which homed him a stash of goodies, he will need your votes.
Ronnie is owned by Lisa Hollick, 38, of Boston. Lisa and her partner Nick took on Ronnie from Lincs Ark in early 2013 when he was, they estimate, about six months old.
Lisa said: “We approached Lincs Ark for a house check to adopt a cat. The following day they called, desperate to place a cat with us temporarily for fostering, as he was in no condition to be put up for adoption.
“He had been found as a stray, living in a shed, but details were scarce. He was totally matted and had to be shaved and have ‘the op’. We collected him from the vets and he was in a sorry state – partly bald, red raw, scared and hungry.
“After a few hours he started making this little cute little chirrup noise to us. Over time he settled down, stopped stealing food, his fur grew and he put on weight and grew ... and grew and grew! We never gave him back and ended up adopting him.”
Lisa said she entered the competition “as a bit of fun”, saying after Ronnie’s rough start in life and an 11-day spell last year when he went missing (before bringing himself home) it was “worth a shot”.
She said: “I did not expect to be in the final – I thought maybe only a handful of people had entered, but I now know there were more than 1,000 entries. I’m not competitive at all, but I would like to win for Lincs Ark as they receive a prize of Royal Canin food. It would also be a great way to raise awareness for Lincs Ark and to thank them for their support and all the fantastic work they do.”
If Ronnie is voted Rescue Cat of the Year, he will win a selection of Royal Canin gifts. Links Ark, meanwhile, as the centre which homed Ronnie, will win a month’s worth of food for up to 50 cats.
Lisa said Ronnie is a great example of the value in adopting, rather than buying, a pet.
“He had a bad start in life but he is a wonderful cat now,” she said.
While he remains ‘very scared’ of strangers, Lisa says Ronnie has turned into ‘a big, beautiful, long haired, grey and white cat’.
“He’s like a chinchilla/British longhair,” she said. “He loves his belly being tickled and he’s lucky enough to get the odd raspberry from us!”
You can vote for Ronnie at Royal Canin UK’s Facebook page.