A CAT whose brave fight against illness inspired fund-raisers from across the Fylde has died.
Charlie, who was born with a condition which meant he could not walk unaided, died recently at St Annes Cat Rescue where he had been cared for all his life.
When his plight was first publicised in The Gazette, generous readers rallied round to pay for a special mobility cart to give him as normal a life as possible.
And earlier this year, prisoners from Kirkham Prison, made him a new cart after his original one wore out.
But a sudden deterioration in his health meant vets had to put the nine-year-old feline to sleep.
Now a fund is to be set up in his name to raise money for other cats with special needs.
Christine Ashton, who runs St Annes Cat Rescue, said: “A few short weeks ago Charlie’s illness progressed and he suffered muscle wastage which left him at risk of choking to death, so we had to make a really tough call and have him put to sleep before he suffered a really horrid death.
“Typical Charlie, he was happy until the end which was beautifully managed by the vets who came to the house.
“He leaves a void so wide, it can’t be filled. But the charity has decided to launch a fund to help other special needs cats and cats which need help in exceptional circumstances, and it will be called Charlie’s Care Fund.”
Charlie suffered from cerebellar hyperplasia, similar to cerebral palsy.
Christine added; “He developed into a fantastic cat who everyone loved and took to their hearts.
“Gazette readers helped us over the years, for example by buying Charlie his first set of wheels.
“His achievements were many, and included visiting schools, old people’s homes, hospitals, brownie packs etc.
“Originally he was not expected to live more than a very short time, but thanks to the fantastic veterinary health care, he survived and flourished for over nine years.”