Award for muscular dystrophy boy’s feline companion

A pet cat that has been a long-term source of friendship for a boy living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy has won an unusual award in recent days.

Salem the black cat, who belongs to 15-year-old Jared Bignold, won the ‘Furr-ever Friends’ award at the National Cat Awards 2018.

According to reports, the beloved pet has been at the youngster’s side ever since he was first diagnosed with the condition, and has proved to be a source of companionship and support for Jared throughout his life.

Over the years, Jared has had to adjust to using a wheelchair as his condition has worsened.

He feels that the transition would have been near enough impossible if it weren’t for Salem, who has helped him through many difficult times.

“I can never feel lonely when Salem’s around and he really deserves an award – there’s no other cat like him,” Jared said.

“I’m so pleased Salem has won this, he’s been with me through so much. He makes me laugh and I love to have him next to me,” said Jared.

The eight-year-old pet beat two other finalists to the unusual prize, which was presented by musician Justin Hawkins in London last week.

Commenting, Jared’s mother, Verity Bignol, said: “Jared has had to adjust to a lot of changes over the years but one thing that has always been constant is Salem.

“It’s always been really lovely to watch their bond develop and I’m so pleased Salem has been honoured in this way – we think he is one in a million.”

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