Cats Protection Awards Savoy

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 16th August 2012


Months ago I was invited to be a judge in one of the Categories at the National Awards for Cat’s Protection which took place on August 16th at the Savoy in London. I was allocated – Rescue Cats and only had to judge the winner from the final three contenders.

It’s not an easy task being a judge on anything – whether it’s humans, art or animals. However in my category there was a very clear winner - and that was a little Tabby cat who had survived appalling injuries and literally risen from the dead and was aptly called ‘Phoenix’. The poor little mite was found at four weeks in a terrible state ‘Her paws resembled red jelly and were covered in maggots, her eyes couldn't open and her face was badly burnt’ when she was handed into the Coleraine Veterinary Practice in County Londonderry, where Yvonne Wreath is practice manager. The staff were so impressed with her resilience they decided against putting her to sleep and she had three months of round-the-clock care. Despite the odds she pulled through.

When I asked Yvonne if her injuries could have been accidental, the answer was in the negative and she added there had been other incidents and it looked as though little Phoenix had been burned with a blow-torch. (I know what I’d do to the perpetrator/s and I’d probably get locked up for it!!)

It is totally beyond my comprehension how so called ‘human beings’ could treat an animal in this way.

The whole event was a really enjoyable one – in my heyday I always loved going to
Award Ceremonies. It’s wonderful to share in the joy of others and to learn about tales of heroism, generosity and self sacrifice.

Bob the Street Cat’s owner James Bowen was at my table and a very pleasant young man he was too.

I’ve not been to any functions at the Savoy for a very long time and, after the £260 million overhaul, was sort of dreading what I might find. However, much to my relief the Riverside is still the same because it is listed. I didn’t go through to the front of the Hotel as I had to scarper in order to catch my train.

This is Yvonne with Phoenix – photograph by Stephen Latimer


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