A CAT who supported a family through dark times is being praised ­— and put up for a national award.

Simba lives with Liz Edmondson Day and her son Ben Moulding in Colne.

When Mrs Day, vet practice manager at Stanley House Vets, heard about a tiny stray kitten brought in with horrific injuries, she didn’t hesitate to offer him a home. But little did they know how important Simba would become.

Within days, husband Paul who was Ben’s stepdad, was admitted to hospital with complications from cancer treatment, leaving the teenager scared, confused and lonely.

Mr Day died eight weeks later but throughout the most traumatic time in his life, Ben had a source of comfort in Simba.

The family had helped nurse Simba back to health, after he suffered a broken jaw, hip and pelvis possibly after being hit by a car.

Mrs Day said: “Since I worked at the vets, I said next time we get a stray cat, I would like to take one in.”

When her husband took ill, Mrs Day was not at home as frequently as she would have liked.

She said: “Ben was 16 and had just started a new school for sixth form and Simba was always with him so they spent all their time together.

“Simba really helped Ben through this time because he was not alone and had a cat to care for.

“Simba had a tough start in life but has turned out to be the soppiest cat I’ve ever known.

"I don’t know how we would have got through everything without Simba.”

Simba has become part of the family and continues to bring joy.

Mrs Day said: “When you walk into a house where there is an animal it just feels brighter and they were a comfort to each other.

“Simba is just so loving and brought so much joy and love into the household and was always there for Ben, making us smile in a dark time.

“Simba is still a soppy cat, he is always cuddling and trying to get into the covers in the bed.

“He’s like a baby, I’ve never known a cat to be so affectionate and soft.”

Simba is in the 'Furrever Friends' and main category of the Cats Protection National Cat Awards. Nearly two years on, Ben is studying economics at university.

Mrs Day said: “I would love it if Simba could win the award and show how much love animals can give to a lot of people.”

Nearly two years on, Ben is studying economics at university.