Miracle moggie wins prestigious award at cat ceremony
A miracle moggie from Ballymoney in County Antrim has won a prestigious title at the Cats' Protection's National Cat Awards in London.
Phoenix, a tabby cat, was just a few weeks old when she was found in a coal bunker with horrific burns.
She was taken to a Coleraine vets, where, after three months of round-the-clock-care, Phoenix pulled through.
Now the feline phenomenon has won the title of Outstanding Rescue Cat at the Cats' Protection's National Cat Awards in London.
Yvonne Wreath, who is the vet practice manager, is now Phoenix's owner.
"She was such a wee fighter," she said.
"We gave her lots of pain relief and we gave her a chance and I'm so glad we did.
Phoenix had appalling injuries when she was discovered. Her paws resembled red jelly and were covered in maggots; she could not open her eyes and her face was badly burnt.
Staff initially thought they would have to put her to sleep but Yvonne said the tiny four-week-old kitten seemed so determined to survive that they began treatment.
Phoenix was one of 15 felines selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Rescue Cat category.
She was chosen as winner by the celebrity judge and former newsreader, Jan Leeming.
Now in their sixth year, the Cats Protection's National Cat Awards are the UK's biggest celebration of the real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival among the UK's 10 million cats.
The awards were previously known as the Rescue Cat Awards and are often dubbed the 'Feline Oscars'.