Yang, owned by Glynis Bell, received the specially-named Freedom to Roam award on Friday, May 19 from Hexham Town Council and staff from Hexham General Hospital.
A presentation took place at the hospital with Derek Kennedy, Mayor of Hexham, town councillors and a matron from the hospital.
Yang received an engraved key, a certificate and his own scrub hat.
He was given the award for his 10 years of community service and for comforting people in their time of need at the hospital.
Glynis said: “It was a nice recognition not just from the council, but for the hospital to recognise him as part of their team.
“He’s been doing it for so long and always been there. For the NHS to recognise him as part of them, it’s a great honour.
“He belongs not just to me but to everybody, I think everyone’s got a piece of him in their hearts because of what he’s done for them.”
Cllr Suzanne Fairless-Aitken said: “Yang Bell represents the caring community of Hexham Town, and after many years of dedicated service and selfless volunteering Hexham Town Council have awarded him the Freedom to Roam the town with a certificate and engraved key – although maybe it should have been a golden catflap.
“He is absolutely amazing, comforting people and their families attending Hexham Hospital, he just seems to know instinctively who needs him. His purrs and affection are ‘free at the point of use’ as they should be in our NHS. He is a symbol of the caring dedication of all NHS staff, and with them saw our community through the pandemic and hopefully will provide his services for many more years to come.”
Cllr Alison Smith said: “Hexham is so lucky to have Yang supporting our community. He brings joy to people on a daily basis and Hexham Town Council wanted to recognise and celebrate his special skills and dedication to the town. We have done this by granting him the Freedom to Roam, presenting him with a key, a framed certificate and a box of Dreamies. Long live the cat.”
Modern matron at Hexham General Hospital, Jane Ferguson, said: “We’re delighted that Yang has been recognised for his services to the community. I’ve worked at Hexham General Hospital for 15 months now and Yang has always been there to provide a friendly face to all visitors of the hospital.
“Sometimes people can feel vulnerable when they visit the hospital and seeing Yang when they enter and leave can give people huge feelings of comfort.”