A VETERAN of the Second World War who has painted animals all his life has taken a particular interest in a care home pet.

Bill Gladden, 98, of Suffolk paints to raise funds for his beloved Taxi Charity.

On a recent trip to The Netherlands with the Taxi Charity for military veterans, Bill heard about a very special cat who was enriching the lives of staff and residents at the Edensor Care Centre in Clacton.

Bill said: “We were talking about Dave over dinner one evening and when I heard about what a difference he has made to the lives of the residents and the staff I asked if they might like a portrait of him.

“I am often asked to paint people’s pets and if they like what I have done all I ask is that they donate to the Taxi Charity.”

Dave the cat had arrived at the home as a kitten in 2021 when the care home asked residents to share something they would like for a wish tree.

Diane Groom, one of the residents asked for ‘a cat to love and care for’ and a little tabby kitten who they named Dave arrived.

From the moment Dave came to the care home he caught everyone’s attention.

When Bill heard that the care home was preparing a first birthday party for Dave, he offered to paint a portrait of him.

Lindsey Milliken, deputy manager at Edensor Care Centre said: “We were over the moon when we received a phone call to say a Second World War veteran wanted to paint Dave’s portrait.

“We sent a photograph of Dave to Bill, and we were delighted when the gorgeous portrait arrived in time for Dave’s first birthday. Bill has been incredibly generous, and we cannot thank him enough.

“Many of our residents live with dementia or complex medical needs and Dave has made such a difference to life here.

“The residents and staff love Dave’s portrait which we will be framing and hanging in pride of place in our lounge.”

To find out more about the Taxi Charity visit taxicharity.org.