A cat who has supported a teenager through adolescence has been nominated for a national cat award.

Jessie the cat, owned by 18-year-old Sophie Jones, has been nominated for the Purina Better Together award in the Cats’ Protection National Cat Awards.

Having been passed from home to home, Jessie was two years old when she was adopted by Ms Jones’ family and the pair soon struck up a close friendship.

When Ms Jones, who lives in Eastbourne, started secondary school, she struggled to make friends but she knew that in Jessie, she had a friend at home she could rely on.

When a close family member died, it was Jessie who helped her through. Ms Jones revealed that she was bullied for dressing differently to other children but her faithful friend was always there to offer her support.

“When I got home she was there to give me support, I know it sounds silly but she is so loving.”

Jessie, now aged nine, has developed a stomach sensitivity and Ms Jones is helping to pay for the veterinary bills of her faithful friend.

Ms Jones said: “I just want people to see how lovely she is and it will be nice for her to be recognised for it.”

The award ceremony takes place today at the Savoy in London from 2pm until 3:15pm.

The Purina Better Together category celebrates the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and a human.

Nominees will cat-fight it out in four categories and the winners will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges including Downton Abbey star Paul Copley and Emmerdale actress Eden Taylor-Draper Cats Protection is a cat welfare charity helping almost 200,000 cats each year. For more information on Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk or call 03000 121212.