Genie, a rescue cat in England, was named National Cat of the Year by feline charity Cats Protection for helping 11-year-old cancer patient Evie Henderson deal with chemotherapy.
Screen capture/Cats Protection/YouTube
Aug. 3 (UPI) -- An outstanding rescue cat was named National Cat of the Year for helping to comfort a young cancer patient.
The cat, named Genie, was recognized as the Overall Winner of the 2017 National Cat Awards at a ceremony in London hosted by feline charity Cats Protection for helping 11-year-old cancer patient Evie Henderson deal with chemotherapy.
Henderson would watch videos of Genie during the treatments and said the cat's molting helped her deal with her own hair loss.
"I missed her every day I was in hospital, and my family could tell she missed me. She's my best friend and is always there when I need her," Henderson said.
Henderson's father, Chris Henderson, said the black and white cat was a "great distraction" for his daughter as she struggled with the painful treatments.
"Evie was in hospital for over 300 days so we spent a lot of time in hospital and it just gave her something to look forward to when she did have those few precious days at home," he said.
The young girl was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and said Genie would sit by her feet and "pitter-patter" on her knee to comfort her during long stays inside.
"When I've been too ill to have friends round or go outside and I've been stuck in the house, she'd come round me and that made me a lot happier and gave me great comfort," she said.
Henderson was thankful to Genie for keeping her company and was delighted the charity decided to honor her beloved pet.
"I think she's great. She deserves it. She's always been there for me," she said.