Shropshire Star

This Telford woman trained a cat to love a lead - and it's transformed both their lives

"I don't think about my MS, I think about getting on with life."

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Jade de Monyé walking her cat Figaro. Jade has MS and walking her cat has "changed her life"

Jade de Monyé has always had a cat by her side. In her 29 years she's had around 18, either at the family home as she grew up or since moving out.

But she's never had a cat like Figaro. The 18-month-old Maine Coon cross Ragdoll came into her life on January 5 last year, three months after her previous cat, Queenie, was run over and killed near her home in St Georges, Telford.

Jade wanted a new cat, and one that could go outside, but was nervous about a similar fate befalling Queenie's replacement.

She settled on the idea of having a cat that could go out with her on a lead, and eventually found Figaro near Manchester.

"My idea was to go in the garden, or down the road, as I feel a cat should still go outside," she explained.

"He loved going in the car," she said. Since then he's wanted to be driven everywhere, joining her on days out and when running errands.

"He'll set on the drive and scream until he goes in the car."

Changing Jade's life

Jade de Monyé walking her cat Figaro. Jade has MS and walking her cat has "changed her life"

Jade also has multiple sclerosis (MS), and having a cat she can take for a walk has transformed her life.

"I used to shut myself away," she said, also recalling show he had health-related anxiety. "Now it almost given me purpose. Seeing how he is makes me happy and proud, it's so rewarding.

"He's forced me to keep mobile, which is the best thing to do with MS."

Figaro now has an Instagram account in his name - @figarosfun - which has attracted more than 2,000 followers, and become a two-time brand ambassador.