A CAT from Clydebank has been named the winner of the Most Caring Cat category at the National Cat Awards 2019.

Tortoiseshell puss Sparky who helps her owner Kirsty Ayre cope after she was blinded in one eye during a random attack was chosen by celebrity judge and actor Josh Dylan as the winner of the caring category.

Sparky was honoured in recognition of how she helps Kirsty after she developed post-traumatic stress disorder following a series of devastating events.

The 36-year-old was still recovering from losing both parents within a year of each other when she was stopped by two assailants in Dumbarton Road, near Cable Depot Road, who pointed a laser pen into her eyes.

Left blind in one eye, Kirsty had to give up her job as a postwoman and was left suffering from crippling panic attacks.

Kirsty also suffers from fainting and when she does, Sparky will gently pat her face until she comes around.

Speaking at the awards ceremony at London’s Savoy, Kirsty said: “I’m so thrilled that Sparky has won this award and been recognised for the special cat she is. She has helped me through some of the darkest times of my life and I honestly don’t know what I’d have done without her.

“I really hope her story will help more people realise what an enormous help cats can be in times of stress, and hopefully more people can benefit from the comfort they can bring.”

Having been named winner of the Most Caring Cat category, Sparky narrowly missed out on being named National Cat of the Year, with the title instead going to Jeffree, an eight-year-old cat who helped a teenager with Asperger syndrome cope with the death of his father.

Josh Dylan, who chose Sparky as a winner, said: “Sparky is my choice because she’s comforted Kirsty through many tough times, including coping with the loss of her parents and trying to recover after being targeted in a cowardly attack. I was particularly taken with the way Sparky touched Kirsty’s face after Kirsty suffered a fainting episode.”

Kate Bunting, Cats Protection’s awards organiser, added: “Kirsty has had to deal with a series of particularly traumatic events but thankfully she has Sparky by her side to help her cope. Sparky is clearly a very special cat and we hope her story will help inspire more people to consider welcoming a cat into their home.”