Home Lifestyle ‘Ricky Gervais’ saved my mother’s life

‘Ricky Gervais’ saved my mother’s life

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‘Ricky Gervais’ saved my mother’s life

A cat-lover who has filled her home with celebrity-named felines has praised her “extraordinary” moggy Ricky Gervais after he repeatedly saved her mother’s life.

Mary Nesbitt-Larking, 30, from Hertford, Hertfordshire, lives with her mum Carrie Nesbitt-Larking, 56, and their six cats – Ricky Gervais, 11, Nana Osaki, 10, Kristen Stewart, 10, Julia Roberts, nine, Linda Hamilton, two and Bree Van de Kamp, two.

Carrie suffers from multiple health conditions including COPD, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea and chronic fatigue syndrome, and lived in fear she would stop breathing in her sleep – until the heroic Ricky, named after the comedian and actor, appeared in their home as a stray in 2012.

Ricky was adopted by the mother and daughter after “wandering” in via their cat-flap, at the same time as their fellow pet Karl Pilkington, and according to Carrie, he started to wake her when she stopped breathing as soon as he arrived – meowing to alert them to the danger.

The mother-daughter duo are now celebrating Ricky’s achievements, after the marvellous moggy was recognised as a finalist in the PetPlan Rescue Pet Awards in August 2022 for the medical help he has given to Carrie.

“Ricky just wants to give love,” explained Mary.

She added: “He was infatuated with mum as soon as he saw her. It’s amazing he’ll make a noise or tap to alert us that mum needs to be woken up. I have no idea how he knows.

“He’s just extraordinary.”

Adopting their first cat in June 2010, Mary and Carrie named their cat after their favourite musician, Michael Jackson.

They soon became cat fanatics and continued to adopt – naming each new feline after a celebrity they love.

“Whenever we adopt a cat we just think of celebrities or characters we really like,” explained Mary.

“Our cat Michael Jackson really started it, as the musician was our biggest hero so we named our first cat after him.”

When Ricky Gervais wandered into their home in December 2012, the pair were overjoyed to welcome their new family member.

“Ricky started wandering in our cat flap one day” she said.

“He used to live with a neighbour but made our home his home.”

She added: “He was basically neglected, he hadn’t had a very nice life and had been picked on a lot. He was shouted at and forced to sleep outside in the freezing cold.

“He started wandering in during the winter, we tried to discourage him at first but he just kept coming in – he was so gentle.

“It breaks my heart when I think of all he had been through.”

She added: “From the day he moved in his brother joined him, so we felt it was perfect to name them Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington.

“I love Ricky Gervais, the human. I love his humour, his tenacity, but most of all, we love how much he stands up for animals, and how full of compassion he is.”

The dynamic moggy duo became nicknamed the “brothers” by Mary’s mum Carrie, due to both cats love of affection.

Sadly for the family, Karl passed away in February 2021, but Ricky has been a constant source of reassurance.

Carrie’s health conditions mean she risks compromising her breathing if she falls asleep in the wrong position, leaving the mum feeling anxious and scared of drifting off unexpectedly – however, Carrie and Mary were amazed when Ricky almost immediately started waking Carrie up when her breathing was compromised.

“I don’t know how he knows,” said Mary.

She added: “Mum has mobility issues so she spends a lot of her time in bed.

“Ricky loves mum. He just looks at her with love in his eyes. He’s so cuddly and gives mum that reassurance.

“As soon as he arrived he seemed to just know when mum was struggling to breathe in her sleep.”

She added: “He started letting out a particular meow to alert us. It’s a meow he only uses for waking mum up, it means danger. He even taps her to wake her up.

“It’s extraordinary, you would think that after his experience he would be aggressive but he’s not.

“We feel so much safer knowing that Ricky is watching over mum.”

Overwhelmed with pride at their moggy’s super senses, Mary nominated Ricky in May 2022 for the PetPlan awards.

“I saw the awards online and thought of Ricky,” said Mary.

“I just thought I’d nominate him. I couldn’t believe it when in August he was a finalist. I was so happy when I saw his picture online.”

The pair are overjoyed with Ricky finally getting the recognition he deserved, and Carrie feels much safer knowing that Ricky Gervais is by her side.

“I’m meant to use a machine every night but when I drift off during the day I don’t have it, so I do get worried about falling asleep,” Carrie said.

“But from the moment Ricky arrived, he started waking me up. He’s so persistent but so gentle. He gives me a little tap or a special sort of meow to alert me.”

She added: “If I don’t wake up, he’ll even go and get Mary to get me up.

“He’s a beautiful cat, though a bit grey now so maybe he looks more like George Clooney.”

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