Nelson, One-Eyed Cat With Incredible Story, is Cat of the Year

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A one-eyed cat who survived being drowned in a sack as a kitten and lived for years on the docks before finding his forever home has been named Cat of the Year in Cats Protection UK’s National Cat Awards, which were announced yesterday, and coincide with World Cat Day, celebrated today.

Nelson was a finalist in the Most Incredible Story category, and he took the overall top prize. He was in good company with several other cats who made the finals due to their heroism, their fascinating stories, or the special value – often greatly therapeutic – their companionship holds for their families.

We told Nelson’s incredible story last month and share it again today, along with a video featuring Nelson and his petmom, who tells his story on camera.

Nelson is a true survivor, a cat who has lived through an attempted drowning, life on the docks, and the loss of an eye due to an attack by thugs.  Five years ago, the now-20 year old feline finally decided to find himself a home and, despite a recent heart tumor diagnosis, he continues to thrive.

Callously thrown into the sea in a sack as a kitten, Nelson was one of only two of his littermates to survive when a fisherman plucked them from the waves. There followed some harsh years for Nelson, living rough on the docks at Seaham, UK, near Sunderland, occasionally gaining shelter from the elements in the fishermen’s cabin. Living rough took its toll, and Nelson lost an eye when a gang of youths threw rocks at him.

In 2009 Nelson’s life turned around when he  adopted a family and found a good, safe and comfortable home. Work had started on the new Seaham Harbour Marina, and the workmen and their loud and disruptive heavy machinery were frightening for the cat. Nelson got his forever home when the Huntley-Crow family of Seaham, UK visited the Seaham Harbour Marina one day. He followed them to their car as they left and they decided to adopt him. Nelson adapted to the good life and has become a treasured family member.

Despite being diagnosed with an inoperable heart tumor in January 2014, Nelson has fought back and amazed vets with his zest for life.

Nelson’s owner Andrea Huntley-Crow said in a story published in the Northern Echo: “Nelson is our little miracle, a real character and we love him very much.”


We shared Nelson’s incredible story (most of which is reprinted above) on July 21, in Nelson: 20 Year Old Cat Overcomes Adversity and Beats the Odds

Watch as Andrea Huntley-Crow relates Nelson’s story in a Cats Protection National Cat Award video:


Nelson poses with his petparents, Andrea Huntley-Crow and Dave Crow


Nelson at the docks

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