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From the streets to The Savoy: Three-legged pub moggy Legz wins rescue cat of year

Legz the cat with his 2014 National Cat Award for outstanding rescue cat. Picture: Polly Hancock Legz the cat with his 2014 National Cat Award for outstanding rescue cat. Picture: Polly Hancock

Friday, August 15, 2014
7:00 AM

A three-legged pub cat has gone from being a stray on the streets to celebrity “diva” at The Savoy in less than a year - and his incredible journey has earned him the title of outstanding rescue cat of the year.

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Legz the cat with co-owner and landlord of the Charlotte Despard pub, Chris Sparks. Picture: Polly HancockLegz the cat with co-owner and landlord of the Charlotte Despard pub, Chris Sparks. Picture: Polly Hancock

Five-year-old Legz, who lives at the Charlotte Despard pub in Archway, was one of three feline finalists in with a chance of winning the coveted kitty gong at The National Cat Awards ceremony on Thursday (August 7) at the plush Savoy hotel in The Strand.

Legz’s co-owner and pub landlord Chris Sparks says he has been strutting around like “a diva” since he scooped the prize last week.

“He’s definitely being a bit more, ‘check me out!’” the father-of-two, of East Finchley, said. “The other two cats had heart-strings stories and we thought: ‘Oh, we’ve just got three legs’.

“When he won, I went down the front and said, ‘Come on!’”

Legz lost his back limb following a suspected road accident about 10 months ago.

He struggled to find a loving home after he was brought into the North London Adoption Centre in Archway - but his luck changed when landlords Mr Sparks and Amber Knight stepped in to adopt the ginger-and-white moggy six months ago.

Dubbed a “cat ambassador”, his story has inspired a handful of other animal lovers to rescue cats from the Archway adoption centre, run by national charity Cats Protection.

Legz received dozens of nominations for the national award from his many adoring pub regulars, as well as the mysterious team behind the popular Kentish Town Cats Twitter account, which gives updates on Kentish Town life from the perspective of a cat.

Mr Sparks, who has two other cats, revealed that his Archway Road pub has pulled in more punters since Legz came to live among the bar stools.

The 47-year-old said: “It’s like Legz has always been here. He’s my mate, my friend. He’s the first thing I see to when I get in, and the last thing I do when I leave.”

He added: “He calms everyone down. Everyone just starts laughing and the conversation always turns to cats.

“He takes it all in his stride.”

Much to his owners’ dismay, Legz was not allowed into The Savoy to see himself declared winner by Republica singer and celebrity judge Saffron Sprackling.

She told the glittering gathering that the decision was “easy” and said: “Though Legz has lost one leg, it hasn’t stopped him from befriending people and bringing together the community in his local pub with his personality and charm.”

Legz scooped a goodie bag’s worth of toys and treats, on top of a year’s supply of Purina cat food, which Mr Sparks and Ms Knight are donating to the North London Adoption Centre.

The feline is now set for stardom, and is due to pose as a centrefold moggy model in Your Cat magazine in the coming weeks.

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