A cat that was adopted by a kind-hearted resident 20 years ago is set to celebrate her 21st birthday this month.

Elaine Nielsen adopted Rusty in 1999 from Marjorie Nash Cat Rescue, in High Wycombe, after her previous cat Lucy, who was adopted from the Cat Protection League, died aged around 19.

Mrs Nielsen, who lives in Chalfont St Peter, said Rusty has been her “lifeline” following a difficult year, with her husband suffering health problems.

She said: “She is the reason I get up in the morning. When we went to look at her, it was love at first sight.

“I don’t know what I am going to do when she goes. My husband had an accident and he was confined to his bed, and she has been my lifeline.”

Mrs Nielsen said Rusty, who turns 21 on January 25, will celebrate with a packet of prawns, her favourite food.

She added: “We were really bereft when Lucy went but then she [Rusty] came along. She really is amazing.”