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Matilda crowned Pet Idol 2018

Pet Idol winner Matilda with owner Lisa Di Leva. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Emily Ireland

More than 1000 people voted, and in the end a pretty kitty called Matilda was crowned this year’s Vetcare Pet Idol winner.

It was a happy ending for all involved in this year’s Pet Idol competition, with the prize, valued at $300, donated to Dump Cats, a cat rescue organisation that works out of Masterton’s dump.

The competition ran in partnership with the Wairarapa Midweek and with sponsorship from Nutrience pet food.

Prize donation recipents Sally McLennan and Tamara Olliver of Dump Cats. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND

Matilda, who received 382 votes, is a 3-year-old Norwegian Forest Cat.

Owner Lisa Di Leva says Matilda’s nickname has always been Tilly or Tilly-Bear.

The owner-pet duo share the same star sign, which Lisa says “makes sense because many of our personality traits are the same – no wonder she’s my fluffy little best friend”.

Lisa has owned Tilly for just over two years now.

“When I first met her when I brought her home, she was like a little princess.

“Her big green eyes and distinct ginger forehead stripe make her so unique.

“She didn’t like getting dirty, being outside, or interacting with anyone, she just wanted to sit on her throne all day and look pretty.

“Over time she has become more confident and although she is still particular about who she interacts with, she is more down to earth, loves rolling around in the dirt outside and visiting the neighbours with me who she knows tell her how beautiful she is.”

[Below] Vetcare owner Dr Heidi Ward McGrath, and prize sponsor Steve Hamer of Petware – Nutrience. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND
Tilly has also made friends with the dog next door, “which is a really special friendship”.

Because Tilly is “quite spoiled” and even has her own Christmas stocking, Lisa made the decision to donate the prize from this year’s Pet Idol competition to Dump Cats.

“It’s nice to be able to help animals less fortunate.

“Dump Cats have an incredibly hard job with the type of work they do, and I encourage everyone to help an animal charity when they can.”

Dump Cats wasn’t the only organisation that benefited from this year’s Pet Idol competition.

Each entry fee of $5 was donated to Pet Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Wairarapa totalling $210.

Heidi Ward-McGrath, owner of Vetcare, said this year’s entries were amazing.

“We spent many hours sitting at the table quite excited.

“It was just such a joy to see Matilda – we hadn’t had the joy of meeting her before.

“She was such a beautiful girl with such gorgeous eyes.”

Sally McLennan, of Dump Cats said Tilly’s owner Lisa had a “good soul” and she was grateful for the donation.

“It really restores your faith in people.”

Dump Cats is volunteer-run and helps cats in trouble at the Masterton dump.

“With Heidi’s help, we get them vet care, get them healthy again, put them in fostering so they are tamed, and turn them into beautiful happy cats.

“Then we find them the ideal home.

“What we need most is money – we have a lot of animals to desex at the moment.”

The prize included bags of Nutrienece Food, an interactive cat laser beam, drinking fountain, three packets of chicken treats, a couple of cat toys, and catnip.

The Vetcare Pet Idol 2018 runner-up was ‘Thor and Gisa’ with 246 votes.

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