Rescue cat steals nation’s heart and wins award


05 February 2021
We meet Cookie, the OAP kitty that took the winner’s crown at the Cats Protection’s Alternative Cat Awards.

Cookie, a rescue cat from Romford in Essex, was named the People’s Purrfect Choice in the Cats Protection Alternative Cat Awards, launched last summer to celebrate the relationship between cats and owners, and inject some feline fun into a difficult year.

Cookie’s owner Holly Webb submitted a video of the 21-year-old rescue cat peacefully purring away and it went on to steal cat lovers’ hearts. 

Holly says: “I couldn’t believe that Cookie won. She is one in a million.”

Cooke won a National competition

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From foster to forever

Three years ago, Cookie found herself in need of a new home, and Holly and her fiancée Hannah decided to foster the golden oldie while Cats Protection looked for her forever home.

“We had just lost our previous cat and weren’t looking for another, but we wanted to be able to offer Cookie somewhere comfortable to live while a home was found for her,” explains Holly.

“We believed, due to her age, that she would be shy and timid, but she was so confident and lovely, and was up on our laps trying to steal our dinner! She settled in so well and really was no trouble at all.

“She was only meant to stay with us for a week, but in the end, we couldn’t let her go. She is an old girl and we couldn’t be sure how long she had left so we wanted her to spend the time she did have in a happy home.”

It was believed Cookie was 18 years old when she came into Cats Protection’s care three years ago, and, due to her age and a kidney condition, it was believed she only had approximately six months left to live.

“We weren’t supposed to have her this long, but she is still here,” laughs Holly. “We are amazed by her, as are her vets — they want to know her secret.” 

Cookie and Holly.                                                             Relaxing on the sofa.

Purrfect purr

Holly entered the video of Cookie purring after seeing a post on Cats Protection’s Instagram page inviting owners to send in cute or funny photos or videos of their cats. Of the winning video, showing Cookie looking totally blissed out, Holly says she wondered if she should have submitted “a better one of her [Cookie] playing”, but the purring video made her and Hannah smile.

“Cookie had just returned home from having 11 teeth removed,” explains Holly. “She was clearly starving so we got her some food. In her excitement, she tried to run, but was still a bit wobbly from the anaesthetic and medication, and kind of flopped on the floor, so we brought her food to her and she gobbled it up, purring away. She was just so happy to be eating.”

Holly says she couldn’t believe it when Cookie won the Senior Kitizen category of the awards and was “over the moon” when she found out she had been voted the overall winner. 

“There were some amazing contenders; I didn’t think she would win her category, let alone the whole thing,” says Holly.

“She is such a character and has been a great companion to me and Hannah over the past nine months.

“During the first national lockdown, I was furloughed and Hannah was working from home so Cookie was great company for me. Now I am back at work, but Hannah is still working from home and Cookie continues to be a great companion and colleague, always wanting to get involved in Zoom meetings.”

To view Cookie’s purrfect purring video, visit

Golden oldies

Holly says she hopes Cookie’s story will help older rescue cats find a home and urges those looking to rescue a cat not to overlook mature moggies and their unique qualities.

Holly would recommend getting a senior kitten.

“They are just so grateful for a loving home,” says Holly. “Cookie is wonderful. Sure, she sleeps a lot, but when she is awake, she acts like a crazy kitten. Plus, she always makes us feel so loved as she is always so excited to see us. She is starting to go deaf so sometimes doesn’t hear us come in, but as soon as she realises we are there, she meows loudly to greet us and showers us in affection.”

Cats Protection received thousands of entries for its Alternative Cat Awards, sponsored by Purina, which were launched in August 2020 in place of its National Cat Awards, which have been postponed due to Covid-19.

Celebrity judges chose their favourites from five categories and then it went to a public vote to choose the overall winner. Cat lover and comedian Bob Mortimer announced Cookie as the winner in September 2020, saying: “The Senior Kitizen category celebrates why older cats are brilliant and gorgeous Cookie is a worthy winner. You’ll want to turn your sound up for this one — her purr is so soothing!”

Holly won a bundle of toys and treats for Cookie, and tickets to attend Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2021 to be held at The Savoy in London later this year.