39-year-old Adam Elm's cystic fibrosis caused him to need a lung transplant in 2018. Following surgical complications, Adam suffered a stroke and died shortly afterwards. The life that Deborah and Adam had made for themselves was now consigned to memories and photographs.
The tyranny of the couple's empty apartment was fast becoming too much to bear. Deborah, who hails from Kentish Town in northwest London, sought company. Six weeks after her husband's death, she adopted a cat called Rosie.
The British Shorthair would promise to be a lifesaver. Blessed now with a greeting as she walked through the door, Deborah began to recover at least from the emptiness that had engulfed her since Adam’s death.
Recalling those first few months with Rosie by her side Deborah told The Metro: “If I went out she was always greeting me at the door distracting me from the fact that Adam wasn’t there. She was always in the same room with me and she would sleep on my bed at night and wake me by licking my face and purring in the morning.
“I had someone to care for which meant a reason to get up and look after her, as I struggle with depression and anxiety.”
The future beckons
Deborah has since got another cat called Felix.
“He’s completely different to Rosie but equally loveable and adorable,” she said. "They get on pretty well now.”
The love and companionship Rosie showed Deborah in the early days earned the cat a National Cat Award nomination of “most caring” from The Cats Protection charity.
To others who have suffered or are suffering with loss, Deborah recommends their adopting a cat. “I think a furry companion is a great choice for anyone who’s grieving especially if they live alone,” she told The Metro.