Fire rescue cat Tink wins National Cat of the Year 2016
12 August 2016
A brave cat who saved the day by waking her family as a fire engulfed their home has been crowned overall winner in Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2016, sponsored by PURINA.
At an awards ceremony at The Savoy in London yesterday (Thursday 4 August), Tink’s owner Claire was given the trophy as well as a pet store voucher, a year’s subscription to The Cat magazine and a three-month supply of PURINA® pet food.
Tink raised the alarm as a fire began to engulf the family home after an electrical fault in a neighbouring property. With her owners Claire and Russell Hopkinson and their sons sound asleep, she climbed onto their bed to warn them of the danger.
"I was fast asleep when I felt this thud on my legs and realised it was Tink", said owner Claire. "She doesn’t sleep on our bed and it was unlike her to be on it. As soon as I opened my eyes all I could see was white smoke."
"My two sons sleep with their doors shut and when I opened Scott’s door, this thick black smoke bellowed out. The smoke had passed through the vent straight into his room and he was fast asleep. Because his door was shut, the smoke hadn’t yet reached the fire alarm – without Tink waking me Scott would have been in huge danger."
While the family left the house quickly, Tink took fright and hid behind a cupboard. When the firefighters arrived, it was explained that the cat was still in the house and after being found unconscious and limp, a special oxygen mask was used on Tink. Scott sat in the fire engine holding it for over an hour until she came round.
Tink was first chosen as the winner of the Hero Cat category by celebrity judge, actress Anita Dobson, before being chosen as overall winner by a panel of celebrity judges including Rick Wakeman, Paul Copley and Saffron Sprackling.
Claire, who was at the awards ceremony to accept Tink’s award, said: "Tink has always been a much loved pet but not a day goes past when I’m not grateful for her actions on that day. If it wasn’t for her, the outcome could have been horrific. She is our true hero."