Ask any pet owner if their animal is a comfort to them during difficult emotional times and the answer will be yes.
For Sazsa Silvaz, the strength her cat Starina gave her after losing her mum Simmi, was so great, she couldn’t bear to be parted with her.
Now, Starina is one of the first emotional support pets to be registered in the UK.
It means that Sazsa has written permission from her doctor stating Starina can accompany her everywhere.
She goes in supermarkets, pubs and restaurants and even rode in the car during Sazsa’s driving test!
“Emotional support pets aren’t recognised so much in the UK,” says Sazsa, who is 34 and lives in Watford, London.
“But after losing mum I couldn’t bear to be parted with her. I went to my doctor and he wrote a letter for me stating she was my emotional support cat.
“Learning to drive was something mum really encouraged me to do.
“So it was fitting that Starina was there and she kept me calm too.”
Sazsa and Simmi
Starina first came into Sazsa’s life when her mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
They searched for a cat online and fell in love with white British short haired cat straight away.
Starina was super special as she has one green and one blue eye, just like the singer David Bowie.
Sazsa thought a cat would be a comfort for them both, and says she brought her mother so much joy.
They set up an Instagram page for her, posting cute photos and updates.
“We’d dress her up and she loved posing,” said Sazsa.
“It brightened up our day and her followers too and really kept us going.”
Little Starina joined Simmi during her chemotherapy sessions too.
When she sadly died, the little cat attended her funeral at Golders Green Crematorium in North London.
Afterwards, Sazsa felt she needed Starina with her at all times, and thankfully, her doctor agreed.
She continued with her social media posts and Starina’s following grew.
Then, during a visit to Pet London to buy a cat carrier handbag, Sazsa was asked whether Starina could model.
Her striking eyes and calm nature in front of the camera means she’s in high demand as a super-meow-del!
She’s been in Vogue, and featured in campaigns for Stella McCartney, ASOS and Hendricks Gin.
Starina in a Hendricks Gin ad.
Sazsa says she is super proud of her gorgeous kitty.
Sazsa said: “It really has been like a whirlwind and I’m so proud of her.
“But she’s more than a superstar.
“There’s a saying that the colour green symbolises earth and blue is for heaven.
“When I look at her eyes it’s like she was sent to look after me.
“She may be famous and have a fabulous life, but it’s like she’s my guardian angel too.”
Follow Starina on Facebook and if you think your pet has what it takes to be a model, visit Pet London Models.
And if you have a remarkable and heartwarming story about your pet, I’d love to hear it, so click here to get in touch.