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Life-saving feline crowned National Cat of the Year
Charlotte with Theo who was crowned National Cat of the Year 2018.

Theo kept his owner awake when she suffered a blood clot

A cat that helped his owner survive a fatal blood clot has been crowned National Cat of the Year 2018.

Eight-year-old Theo suffered cat flu as a kitten and survived thanks to 24-hour care from his owner, Charlotte Dixon. Theo was later able to reciprocate that care when he detected a blood clot passing through Charlotte’s body in the middle of the night.

Theo pawed at Charlotte to prevent her from falling asleep - an action which is thought to have saved her life. But in a cruel twist of fate, Theo died a week before the awards, making his win all the more poignant.

“All cats are amazing but I owe my life to Theo. We always had a close bond and I feel this award is a truly wonderful way to celebrate his life,” said Charlotte.

“When I woke up in the night feeling unwell, I put it down to a virus. I was confused and shaky but thought I should just get some sleep. Theo wouldn’t let me and was behaving very strangely and out of character. He kept batting me with his paw, meowing and jumping on me - keeping me awake. Eventually, I decided to call my mum and she called an ambulance.
 
“The paramedic recognised the signs of a blood clot straight away and said it was a good thing I hadn’t fallen asleep as I probably wouldn’t have woken up.”

Paramedics rushed Charlotte to hospital where she spent a week in the High Dependency Unit before making a complete recovery.

“I’m devastated that he’s gone but I’m so proud of him for winning,” she said. “It shows I’m not the only one who thinks he was a really special cat.”

Theo was named National Cat of the Year by a star-studded panel of judges including actor Peter Egan, musician Rick Wakeman and broadcaster Andrew Collins.

Presenting an emotional Charlotte with Theo’s trophy, Andrew said: “There’s no greater, nor more selfless a bond than between Charlotte and Theo. That Theo was nursed to health by Charlotte and then he repaid her in kind is the epitome of the cat-human relationship.”

The annual Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards took place at London’s Savoy on Thursday (2 August). The event celebrates real-life stories of heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world.

Image (C) Cats Protection

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.