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Puss who helped family escape house fire named National Cat of the Year

Tink the cat has been named the winner of Cats Protection’s National Cat of the Year 2016 award.

The five year old family pet woke her owners by leaping onto their bed as a fire engulfed their Shrewsbury home. Her actions alerted Claire and Russell Hopkinson to the blaze, allowing them to safely escape with sons Jake, 19, and Scott, 22.

At an awards ceremony at The Savoy in London on August 4, Tink was named overall winner after first scooping the Hero Cat award.

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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.”

The family had been sleeping at their home in the early hours one morning in February when an electrical fault in a neighbouring property sparked the fire.

Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards is the UK’s largest celebration of real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival in the cat world.

As well as the honour of being crowned National Cat of the Year, Tink and her owners received a prize of a trophy, a pet store voucher, a year’s subscription to Cats Protection’s The Cat magazine and a three-month supply of PURINA® pet food.

Kate Bunting, the awards organiser at Cats Protection, said Tink’s story was inspiring. “She is truly remarkable and just goes to show how important cats are to family life. Her quick thinking alerted the whole family to a potential disaster,” she said.

“It was particularly poignant to hear how devastated the family were when they thought Tink had succumbed to smoke inhalation. It just goes to show how important cats are to family life and we are so pleased that she managed to pull through.”

PURINA® UK&I Finance Director, Paul Vernon said: “We are delighted to celebrate our long-standing support of Cats Protection by sponsoring the National Cat Awards. This is the fifth time PURINA® has sponsored the event and we are delighted to continue our partnership and support the wonderful work the organisation does.

“PURINA® is a proud supporter of pet adoption. Our current campaign to change the perceptions of rescue cats aims to encourage people to rethink rescues when they are considering owning a cat. We believe that people and pets are better together and that, when they bond, life becomes richer. The awards are a great platform for cat owners across the UK to share inspirational stories of how that special bond with their pets has improved their lives.”

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