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Meet Spike the cat who helps his owner cope with complex health conditions.

Ian Turner from Llandudno in Conwy, Wales suffers from a complex medical condition affecting both his physical and mental health but says his cat Spike keeps him going through times of despair.

man with ginger and white cat asleep on his chest

Ian has idiopathic intracranial hypertension – a condition that has similar symptoms to a brain tumour, including debilitating headaches, and can sometimes leave him feeling suicidal.

Throughout his worst moments, however, Spike is there to offer a supportive purr.

ginger and white cat holding out paw

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“There is no cure for this condition – you just keep getting through each day the best you can and Spike is a huge help with that.

“When moments come along when I think I can’t do this anymore, Spike seems to know and is there to comfort me. He will climb on my shoulder and look into my eyes as if to tell me he’s here and check I’m ok.”

selfie of a man and his white and ginger cat

Ian was initially reluctant to get a cat but since his partner Anna-Marie introduced him to cat ownership, he’s never looked back.

The couple previously owned a ginger cat called Mr Chips, who won the Purina Better Together Category of Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards in 2014 for the support he gave Ian throughout his illness and numerous operations.

ginger and white cat sitting on man's chest with paws around his face

The couple sadly lost Mr Chips three years ago but Spike, who himself suffers from cerebellar hyperplasia which means he’s a little wobbly on his feet, has since taken over this important role.

“You get so much back when you open your heart and home to a cat. I don’t know what I’d do without Spike in my life. He’s always there when I need him, brightening my day.

“Spike is more than just a cat, he’s my motivation to keep going when times are tough.”

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