A CAT called Syrup was helping to sweeten the life of 22 patients in a rehabilitation ward at Ulverston hospital in 1989.

Syrup came from Animal Rescue and was a regular fixture at the hospital. The cat's feeding times at 8am and 5pm were fitted in with the nursing routines.

The hospital's Sister Pat Longden said: "I thought it would be a good idea if she could bring a little light into the lives of out patients on ward three."

The Mail, on February 2, noted: "The old folk, whose ages range from 65 to 99, love it as Syrup frolics around, dashing under and around beds before settling down each night."

Other hospital wards were hoping to get pets og their own.