A young girl with dyslexia has won the junior category of the Cat Protection Society of Victoria’s ‘Furry Tales Children’s Story Competition’, selected from over 400 entries for her heart-warming story about a cat called Coco entitled ‘Cat Story’.
Adelaide Hogan, aged eleven, wrote the story based on a cat that lives in her neighbourhood. Told from the perspective of Coco, a young street-cat, the reader follows the challenges Coco faces as she transitions from street-cat to shelter cat, to the beloved companion of a young woman.
Taking out the Open Age Category for her deeply moving story ‘The Very Best of Friends’is Sue Moossajee, a primary-school teacher from Preston. Based on a true story, ‘The Very Best of Friends’ tells the incredibly touching story of losing a beloved family feline, and then unexpectedly finding love and connection once again through animal rescue.
Adelaide has won a $150 Ultimate Kids Gift Card, a certificate, and a private shelter tour with plenty of time for cat and kitten cuddling with three friends. Sue has won a $300 Visa Debit Card voucher and the opportunity to enjoy a private tour of the shelter.
Both stories will be turned into a Children’s Book that is currently being professionally illustrated by Leah Lux Artist and Photographer and will be published and available for purchase via the Society’s retail and online stores in early 2022. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards continuing to provide the highest levels of care and rehoming of cats and kittens in need and incorporated into The Cat Protection Societies Primary School Education program that will launch in 2022.
Adelaide’s Mum Amy says that Adelaide winning the competition means a lot to the family.
“Winning a story award is very special to us given that Adelaide has dyslexia and writing is not always easy for her. She can really identify with cats which is why she wrote the cat from Coco’s perspective”.
“It was because I love cats! When my friends come over we pretend to be cats,” Adelaide adds.
For Sue, winning the Open Age category was not only a form of healing for her, but she hopes her story might assist other children and families to recover and heal after they have lost a pet.
The story is based on losing her own cat Nina, and then finding joy and love with another cat called Sasha, despite her grief, that she adopted from the Cat Protection Society’s Shelter five years ago.
“Often as a teacher, when a child comes in after losing a pet, you see firsthand the grief that it causes the family and children. Having been through that when we lost our cat Nina, I thought this might help people, especially children, to deal with the grief and know that love can be rekindled with another pet after you have passed through that stage of grieving,” Sue says.
On a personal note, Sue says of winning the competition “It’s really, really exciting, it’s probably one of the most exciting things that has ever happened!”
The combined 468 entries were judged by a panel including an animal behaviorist and author, a primary school teacher and representative from the Cat Protection Society of Victoria. The winning stories were selected on the basis that they help to educate the community on responsible cat ownership or raise the profile of cats as companion pets.
Judge for the Open Age Category and animal Behaviourist, Laura Vissaritis, says of Sue’s winning story “Well, I wasn’t prepared to have tears flowing down my face this morning! This story was so well written and I love how the author brought in the cycle of love and loss. I can certainly see this as a picture book, helping those who have suffered the loss of a very much-loved cat – and how sometimes the best and only way to heal is to hold another in need in your loving arms.”
Annie Bell, primary school teacher and judge of the Junior Category says of Adelaide’s story “I found this story particularly moving which is a testament to how well it is written. It reinforces the importance of cat adoption so there are less vulnerable cats roaming the streets. It also reminds the reader of the love, companionship, and utter joy that cats can provide for us.”
The Children’s book will be published early in 2022.
The Famous Felines will be announced on the Wednesday 1th of September, so be sure to check back then.