Genie is a cat that has earned herself a title, she was honored by being named National Cat of the Year. Genie is a rescue cat that is getting recognized and honored for comforting her owner, 11 year old, Evie Henderson, from Lincoln. Evie was dealing with having to go through six rounds of chemotherapy and her cat, Genie, was there with her all the way through.
In March of 2016, Evie was diagnosed with bone cancer and Genie knew she had a job to do. She had to turn up her comforting skills and comfort Evie through all of her surgeries and long stays in the hospital. Genie didn’t stop there, she was there to help Evie deal with all the pain she was having to cope with.
When most people think of therapy pets, they think of dogs. Cats are rarely thought of in the therapy role because it tends to be dogs that people recognize as being so sensitive and caring to their owner’s needs and distress, however, there are some cats that are so in tune with their owner, such as Genie, with Evie, and Genie knew what Evie needed, and when she needed her.
Genie got her recognition by the feline charity Cats Protection and she received it at a ceremony that took place in London. No one was more thrilled than Evie. She talked about how thrilled she was for Genie to get the recognition and said that she believed Genie deserved it. Evie said that Genie was always there for her. She could smell the plaster on her leg and would get up on the couch with Evie and do a ‘Pitter-patter on her knee.’ Evie also described Genie as being around to cheer her up when she couldn’t go out and play with her friends. It comforted her.
Evie has said that her bond with Genie is special. She’s been such a support to her, including when she started losing her hair while going through the harsh treatments. Now, she talks about how it was very upsetting for her to lose her long brown hair, but she says that at the time, it was spring and Genie was molting, too. So for the two to go through that together, it helped to ease the shock of the loss.
Chris Henderson, Evie’s father, said that Genie has been a “great distraction” for Evie. She would even watch videos of Genie on video from her hospital bed. Her father was quoted as saying, “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.”
Evie replied to that by saying, “I missed her every day I was in hospital, and my family could tell she missed me. She’s my best friend and I honestly don’t know what I would do without her.”