‘My night watchman, my postman and guardian’: How a ‘hearing cat’ takes care of his owner

July 24, 2023

A pet from the United Kingdom received an award on Tuesday, July 18, after becoming a “hearing cat” for his owner all on his own. The cat, named Zebby, beat thousands of others and took home the award for National Cat of the Year, reports USA Today.

The award was given by Cats Protection, a charity that rescues and re-homes cats. The event was held at the Wilton’s Music Hall in London, Cats Protection said in a news release.

To win the award, Zebby first won the Family Fur-ever category, which honors cats that “make a family complete.” The victor of this bracket is selected by public vote. The cat was then selected as overall National Cat of the Year by a panel.

Zebby’s owner, 66-year-old Genevieve Moss, lives alone, aside from her furry friend, of course. Living solo can be isolating, she said in a recent video.

Her problems were further exacerbated by the fact that she can’t hear anything without her hearing aid—meaning Moss can’t hear anything at night. Once, she was robbed in the middle of the night.

But now, Zebby alerts her to different sounds in their home. He also fetches the mail for Moss and drops it into the bedroom. He even takes her slippers to her.

“He has become my night watchman, my postman and guardian,” she said. “He seems to know that when the phone rings, he needs to alert me. At nighttime, if my security light goes on, he seems to know to wake me up and he does so by tapping my face.”

Sometimes when Moss tries to leave the house, Zebby takes his position at the front door to tell her it’s not happening. She then has to sneak out the back door, she said.

When she returns, he runs up and gives her lots of cuddles, she said. For her, it’s nice to come home to Zebby. He’s her “best friend” and her “savior.”

“I am so proud of Zebby for showing the world how intuitive and caring cats can be, and what a positive effect they can have on people’s lives,” she told Cats Protection. “I can’t imagine life without Zebby and I’m over the moon that he’s been honored in the National Cat Awards.”

In honor of his win, Zebby took home a trophy and a pet store voucher.

Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards organizer Ashley Fryer said the feline’s entry form spoke volumes about his devotion to his owner. “Their story highlights the powerful bond that exists between people and their cats,” Fryer said. “He’s a shining example of the joy and comfort a cat can bring.”

Research contact: @USATODAY