A CAT which helped a terminally ill teenager and her family cope has won a prestigious award.

Fifteen-year-old Nala was chosen by celebrity judges David Seaman, the former England goalkeeper, and his wife professional ice skater Frankie Seaman as winner of the Outstanding Rescue Cat category at the National Cat Awards 2019.

Nala was honoured in recognition of the support she gave to Charlotte Eades, who died from a rare form of brain cancer in February 2016, aged just 19.

Following Charlotte’s death, Nala continued to help her mother Alex and brother Miles, 24, cope with the loss.

Speaking after picking up Nala’s award at the ceremony at The Savoy Hotel in London, Alex said: “Nala is an incredible cat, and we’re all so pleased she’s been recognised for everything she did to provide comfort for Charlotte when she needed it the most. “Charlotte was seven when we got Nala and they grew up together.

“Nala was there for the good times and, sadly, for the worst of times.

“I hope their story will help more people see what an incredible effect cats can have on people’s lives for all sorts of reasons.”

During her life, Charlotte launched her own YouTube channel and often shared stories about Nala. Alex and Miles, who have continued the channel, regularly watch Charlotte’s videos and say Nala still recognises her voice.

David Seaman said: “We were both heartbroken and inspired by the love and connection shared by Charlotte and Nala and can only imagine how much Nala’s affection and friendship would have comforted Charlotte and brightened her life during her darkest of days.”

Cats Protection’s awards organiser Kate Bunting said: “Charlotte was an incredible and inspiring teenager and she was clearly a devoted owner and friend to Nala.

“The kindness and love Charlotte showed Nala ensured they had an incredible bond, and that friendship must have been such a comfort to her.

“We’re so pleased that Nala has also continued to be a great support to Alex and Miles as they adjust to life without Charlotte.”

After being named the Outstanding Rescue Cat category, Nala narrowly missed out on being named National Cat of the Year, with the title instead going to Jeffree, an eight-year-old puss who helped a teenager with Asperger syndrome cope with the death of his father.