A once-stray black cat is living the high life after being taken in by a couple six months before winning the lottery.
Tony, 71, and Deb Pearce, 63, started feeding Billy at a time when they were facing financial difficulties.
The Essex couple feared they would have to sell their home after falling into debt in 2017 – until they scored £1million in the National Lottery.
Rumor has it that black cats are out of luck, but they say nothing could be further from the truth.
Pet owners these days are ‘jumping through hoops’ for the whims of Billy’s specialty catering, while he vacations with them at their second home in Norfolk.
Deb joked that she was wondering “who’s the National Lottery millionaire around here?”
But there’s no doubt that she and Tony enjoyed their new found wealth, too – spending it on the holidays and their dream wedding.
“When Billy showed up, we were about to sell our beloved home and become strays ourselves,” Deb explained.
“Tony had stopped working due to health issues and we were in deep debt.
“It seemed like our only option was to move into rented accommodation, then, six months after Billy arrived, luck struck and our lives changed for good.
“We were able to stay in our house and renovate it to make it our own perfect piece of paradise.
“We had a holiday away from home and, closer to home, bought a house in Norfolk, a place where we have always enjoyed spending time and where the whole family can enjoy it.
“To top it off, we finally said ‘yes’ at our dream wedding.”
Billy, believed to be 8, has been diagnosed with diabetes, which means he has been put on a bespoke hypoallergenic diet.
“In addition to having us on call for her twice-daily injections, we also jump through hoops for her restorative quirks,” Deb said.
“Maybe it’s due to his wandering days when he had to have a very varied diet, but now we have to keep a selection of food for him.”
“If he’s more than three days on the same flavor, he turns his nose up and while he enjoys the chicken and veggie meal, Billy doesn’t like the peas.
“I find myself rummaging through his food, picking the peas and wondering who the National Lottery millionaire around here is?”
Tony said they bought a ‘huge transporter’ for Billy to travel with them to their vacation home in Norfolk ‘so he has space to move around on the trip’.
He said, “Now every time the porter comes out of the attic, he jumps up as if to say ‘come on, let’s go!
“To make sure Norfolk is a home, it has exactly the same setup as in Essex and that level of attention seems to suit it well.
“He arrives, sniffs a bit around the terrace and then settles in as if he had never left.
“When I find myself paying the bill for veterinary care or Billy’s specialist diet, which costs more than our annual trip to the Savoy, I can’t help but think that maybe it’s Billy who has the disease too. chance.
“Not a bad life for a stray cat from Southend who clearly showed up at the right door at the right time and proved to us that black cats are in fact lucky!”
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