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Cat wins award for alerting deaf owner to sounds

Genevieve Moss and Zebby

A cat who notifies its owner with sounds going off around the house has won a national award.

Genevieve Moss, 66, has severe hearing loss, but thanks to her two-year-old moggy, Zebby, she doesn’t miss a phone ringing or a knock on the door.

Zebby has had no training, he just became a natural four-legged carer, earning him the overall winner of this year’s National Cat Awards.

He ‘picked’ up his award on Monday at Wilton’s Music Hall, in London, beating thousands of other pets from across the country.

Zebby was one of four finalists in the Family Fur-ever category, but was crowned the overall winner by a celebrity panel including former footballer David Seaman MBE and TV personality Dr Scott Miller.

He doesn’t just alert Moss to sounds though, Zebby also collects the mail from the doormat and fetches his owner’s slippers.

Moss, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, told the BBC:  "I am so proud of Zebby for showing the world how intuitive and caring cats can be, and what a positive effect they can have on people's lives.

"Without my hearing aid, I can't hear anything, but now I have Zebby to help me.

"He'll come and tap me when the phone is ringing, and then I can pop my hearing aid and speaker on and take the call.

"In the night, if there's an unusual noise he will bat me on my head to wake me up and let me know."

Ms Moss went on to express the friendship she has with Zebby and how much he means to her.

"Zebby is very special, I've never known a cat quite like him," she added.

"He loves to be around me, wherever I am, he's not far behind.

"We've got a very close bond and I wouldn't want to cope without him.

"Living on my own and being deaf means life could be lonely, but not with Zebby around, he's my hero."

Cats Protection's National Cat Awards organiser Ashley Fryer said: "From the moment we read his entry form, we knew Zebby was something special.

"Zebby is clearly devoted to Genevieve, and their story highlights the powerful bond that exists between people and their cats.

"He's a shining example of the joy and comfort a cat can bring."

[ Zebby won a trophy and prize package, which included a £200 pet store voucher ]

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