Stephen (Spike) on Park BenchThe Stephen Memorial Award is run by the Bookangel.co.uk book club.

It has been nearly a year since our furry feline founder member, Stephen, (or Spike to those that knew him well) passed away in October 2016, and it wasn’t just his owners who missed him a great deal. So growing out of a discussion on the book forum, the idea of the Stephen Award came about: an award for books that features cats worthy of Spike’s seal of approval.

And they have a lot to live up to, with a cat with high intelligence, opposable thumbs, the ability to lock his owners out, and taking on foxes…and notably having vets’ notes which had a large red caution to let him see what they are doing at all times. (If he can see it and it is interesting, he’ll go along with it. Otherwise…well, on one occasion he plucked the syringe from the vet’s hand and put it down with his paw on it.)

So, as a way to remember him, and a way to bring some attention to the other unique cats out there, the Stephen Award was launched in August 2017. It was biased, subjective, judged by our reviewers on what they feel like, capricious and altogether as fitted to cat temperament as we could make it! It closed at the end of the month with more books than we expected, and left our reviewers who had volunteered to judge with a pile of books to read. They’ve managed it, and we’re proud to present our 2017 winner, Tigger: Memoirs of a Cosmopolitan Cat” and 10 runner-ups.

Miss you, furrball

In 2018 the award returned, partnered with CatChat, the cat rehoming charity. For each book entered, we donated a minimum of £1 to the charity. As Stephen was a rescue cat, this seemed fitting. With a flood of entries, the award raised enough to re-home 20 cats. The final winner was “The Three Kitties that saved my life” by Michael Meyer and the three runners up all received £25 Amazon Gift vouchers.

The 2019 award is currently open for entries. Once again we are partnering with CatChat and hope to raise enough to re-home more cats. As we raised enough to start re-homing on the first day, things seem promising!

If you want to enter the award, please click here.