A fearless feline who turned into a bodyguard when a Doncaster boy was threatened by bullies could be in line for a national award.
Four-year-old Smudge beat scores of other amazing cats to take his place as one of three shortlisted cats in the Hero Cat category of the Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2014.
Smudge, whose owners live in Thorne, won his place as a finalist after becoming an unlikely bodyguard.
Mum Sarah Fenton was watching through the living room window as her two sons, Ethan, five, and Ashton, three, played football in the front garden.
However, the fun was shattered when a group of older boys approached and pushed Ethan to the ground.
Within seconds, Smudge shot out from the bushes, hissed and jumped up at one of the bullies, prompting them all to beat a hasty retreat.
“Who would have thought a cat could be capable of chasing off school bullies, but that’s what Smudge did and we’re so grateful that he did,” said Sarah.
“We can’t wait for the awards ceremony, we’re delighted Smudge is a finalist and are crossing our fingers that he wins the Hero Cat category, he really deserves it.”
The Fenton family will find out if Smudge will scoop the category title at an awards ceremony, sponsored by Purina, at The Savoy in London on August 7.
The winner will be selected by cat lover Carley Stenson, of Channel 4’s drama Hollyoaks.
If Smudge wins he will also be in with a chance of winning the prestigious title of National Cat of the Year and follow in the pawprints of current holder Jessi-Cat from Manchester, who helps a nine-year-old Lorcan Dillon to cope with Asperger’s Syndrome.