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How Starina helped Sazsa cope with losing her mum and turned cat super model

Starina the Emotional Support cat with Sazsa and her mum Simmi.

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."

Starina the cat helped owner Sazsa cope with the loss of her mum Simmi.

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 the cat helped owner Sasza cope with the loss of her mum Simmi.

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.

8 Comments

  1. Joanne Mallon
    12th July 2017

    Such a beautiful cat! I really like the sound of an emotional support cat. My cat is like the opposite – he drains all the emotion out of you with his constant anger.

    Reply
    1. rachel@thepawpost.co.uk
      12th July 2017

      Aw he sounds like a real character though Joanne! Yes, Starina is super special!

      Reply
  2. Nancy
    13th July 2017

    I’m allergic to cats so I tend to avoid which is a shame! But I reckon dogs are good at offering emotional support too, mine is certainly tuned into whether I’m happy or a bit sad.

    Reply
    1. rachel@thepawpost.co.uk
      13th July 2017

      They definitely know don’t they? Daisy is much better behaved if she can sense I’m not feeling good!

      Reply
  3. Lyndsey Gilmour
    13th July 2017

    Having never had any pets bigger than the palm of my hand it’s really hard for me to imagine what it’s like to have such close and intense bonds with one. Having said that, I’m so in awe of guide dogs and when it comes to bereavement, breakups and loss I’m all for what gets you through it positively.

    Reply
    1. rachel@thepawpost.co.uk
      13th July 2017

      Absolutely Lyndsey, they are so special!

      Reply
  4. Helen
    13th July 2017

    Ah this is such a heartwarming story! I’d never heard of emotional support cats/pets before – very interesting! And wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing 🙂 xx

    Reply
    1. rachel@thepawpost.co.uk
      14th July 2017

      Ah thanks Helen, I know, I’d never heard of it either, but it’s big in the States. I think it’s something we’ll hear more about here. Animals play such an important role in our lives. xx

      Reply

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