CAT lovers are purring with joy after getting unique tattoos of their favourite felines.

Keighley tattoo artist Em Higgins raised £430 for Keighley Cat Care by creating the pictures on people's skin during a special fundraising day.

She took part in the national Tatts For Cats campaign organised by former nurse Dolly Osborne in a bid to help cat charities across the UK.

Several tattoo studios have got involved, offering cat-themed tattoos in return for donation, and Dolly's supporters this year nominated Keighley Cat Care to receive the cash.

Em, who runs The Little Tattoo Rooms in Fleece Street, next to the Royal Arcade in Keighley, offered to create one-off designs, charging her usual fee but giving the money to Tatts For Cats.

Lifelong Keighley resident Em has been a tattoo artist for about five years, specialising in realistic 'blackwork'.

She said: "All my designs are one-offs. Everything I do is totally to the customer's requirements.

"It was so much fun – it was a really good day, everyone was in high spirits and everyone loved cats.

"One lady came specially from Preston to get tattooed – she had a rose in a silhouette. Another had a skull come. Another woman had a portrait of a cat that came from Keighley Cat Care but was run over last month."

Dolly worked as a nurse until she had to give up her job about seven years ago due to mental health issues, and was later diagnosed with conditions including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. "I was floored with pain and fatigue. I still suffer a lot from this and am now a wheelchair user. Although my illnesses don't allow me many usable hours in the day I still had a real desire to 'do something' and fill that need to help people."

Dolly combined her twin passions of cats and tattoos, volunteering with Country Cats Protection and teaming up with tattoo parlours to run charity days.

She said: "Last year I had three Coventry Studios: Grizzly's Art Collective, Queen of Hearts Tattoo Parlour and The Drawing Room. Between their three 'flash' events and two raffles I ran alongside them we raised £2002 for Coventry Cats Protection.

This year Dolly decided to branch out, holding simultaneous events across the UK, and the first event in Edinburgh raised more than £1,000 for Keighley Cat Care.

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