Norbert’s winning video was chosen by Swindon based celebrity beauty expert and TV presenter Gina Akers. The category celebrated the bond between cats and their owners who were working or studying during the lockdown period.
Norbert beat off stiff competition from his other category finalists – nine-year-old black cat Tia, from Thornbury, who refused to budge from her owner’s laptop and four-year-old Ria, from Crawley, who insisted on using her owner’s shoulders as a resting place!
Norbert’s owner, Leighanne James, said: “We adopted Norbert from Cats Protection when he was just 12 weeks old and watching him grow has been such a joy. He is a really funny character with the longest tail and squeakiest meow ever.
“Although Norbert can be quite shy at times, he is becoming more confident by the day and quite happy to take part in an online video call, albeit he hasn’t learned to type yet!”
Gina Akers said: “I know what Leighanne means about Norbert’s funny character, the way he carefully manoeuvred a computer mouse around with his paw and then swept it off the table really made me laugh!
“Cat capers like this really brighten up a dull working day and so Norbert was my winner from among three excellent finalists.”
Cats Protection ran the competition - which was sponsored by its long-term corporate partner PURINA® - in place of its annual National Cat Awards which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity asked owners to post videos of cats who had made an outstanding contribution to their life this year in five categories, each judged by a different celebrity, and had over 500 entries.
Calum Macrae, Regional Director at Nestlé Purina PetCare, said: “One of our key beliefs at Purina is that people are better with pets – especially during these last few months, so we were delighted to partner with Cats Protection to celebrate the contribution cats have made during lockdown.
“All the category videos were fantastic, but Norbert’s mouse skills are a joy to watch and he is a very worthy winner.”
The public will now have their chance to crown the overall winner – the ‘People’s Purrfect Choice’ - by logging onto www.cats.org.uk/aca and voting for their favourite. Cat-loving comedian Bob Mortimer will officially open the voting from 4pm on Thursday 17 September. The public has until Sunday 20 September to choose which of the five category winners deserves the overall title. Bob will then announce the top cat on Wednesday 24 September. Along with the title, the winning cat’s owner will be invited to attend the National Cat Awards at London’s Savoy on 5 August 2021.
The other categories were:
? #MischievousMoggy – Cats with interesting and playful behaviours that may have performed challenges or been a source of entertainment during lockdown – judged by ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman and his wife, Dancing on Ice Star Frankie Seaman
? #SeniorKitizen - Mature cats aged 11 years and above – judged by radio presenter Justine Greene
? #PurrfectlyImperfect – Celebrating cats living happy, healthy lives with a disability, health issue or superficial aesthetic deformity – judged by comedian and writer Jake Lambert
? #BestNewcomer – Cats adopted from an animal rescue organisation in 2020 – judged by dance choreographer and ex-Strictly judge Arlene Phillips