AN ANIMAL-LOVER who has spent "thousands" helping sick pets has made a generous donation towards a Basingstoke cat that is thought to have been kicked by a stranger.

Noel Took, 71, has devoted her life, and finances, to supporting animals.

She told the Gazette that she regularly donates to appeals she sees in the paper, and has spent thousands of pounds helping animals in need over the years.

Mrs Took said: "I have helped many people before, and have made so many friends, from the Basingstoke Gazette.

"Animals are my first point of call because, if like me you can see the aura of animals, it is only giving love, and that is healing all of us."

Mrs Took saw the Gazette's recent report about a woman from Kempshott who is raising money to take her long-haired moggy, Fluffy, for x-rays.

11-year-old Fluffy went missing from his home on Lapwing Close last month, and was later found by owner Louise Mitchell-Chapman, 50, under a bush.

Fluffy's back legs were not working but no wound could be seen, leading Louise to believe he had been kicked, and a vet to confirm that this was a possible explanation.

Louise, who receives incapacity benefit, set up a fundraising appeal to allow her to get Fluffy the Xrays and care he needed.

Mrs Took, who lives in a residential home in Lychpit with her own cat, contacted Louise and offered to send her a cheque for £250 to put towards Fluffy's care.

Louise said: "What a lovely, kind generous lady. I cannot believe the kindness in some people, it blows me away."

Mrs Took, who also sponsors five rescue dogs, says that when it comes to money, her priority is spending what she has on animals.

"The lady who does my banking says 'Where did that money go?' and I usually say 'I helped another dog'" she said with a laugh.

As an annual donor to the RSPCA in Basingstoke, Mrs Took also told Louise about a fund the charity's town branch run which allows pet-owners receiving state benefits to get financial help with vet costs.

The RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover Branch webpage says: "We are able to provide limited financial assistance to those on state benefits with their veterinary bills, should they find themselves unable to pay. This allows us as an organisation to help responsible pet owners provide the care for their companions. If this describes your situation, please don't hesitate to contact us."

Having raised over £800, Louise was able to take Fluffy for Xrays on Friday, October 16, which found that the combination of abuse in his previous home and recent trauma had contributed to loss of strength in both knees.

The vet told her it would be a "long road to recovery", but she now hopes to register with a veterinary surgery covered by the RSPCA scheme, and get Fluffy care whenever he needs it in the future.