The celebrity lifestyle isn't for everyone; but for Su, who was crowned victor at last month's international cat pageant, all this attention is simply a matter of course. Competing at the International Happy Cat Beauty Pageant in Istanbul last month, two Van cats (a Turkish breed distinct for their chalky white fur and mismatched eyes) Başak and Su, mesmerized the panel of judges, as well as the crowd, strutting with the confident ease of a lion stalking the savannah. Su was treated to the spotline, being crowned the most beautiful feline in the world. Since the beauty pageant, Su has been the main attraction at the Van Cat Research and Application Center based in the eastern province of Van. Visitors have flooded to the center just to behold the beauty queen.
Yasemin Şahin, who arrived all the way from Burdur province, noted that the popularity of the Van cats spread beyond the borders of Turkey, continuing: “We heard that the most beautiful cat in the world resides here, so we had to come. Su is a very beautiful cat. She is cute with fluffy fur and colorful eyes. She is the softest thing I have ever touched. I am glad I came!” Salih Aslan arrived from Rize just to take a selfie with the beauty queen Su. “She is a very special cat - so calm and very friendly,” he said, after meeting the famous moggie. Van cats are world-renowned, so in order to protect the breed, the Van Cat Research and Application Center was founded at Yüzüncü Yıl University. Since its establishment, the center has conducted a number of research projects to facilitate the continuity and purity of the breed. The popularity of the Turkish Van cats attracts some 5,000 visitors a month to the center.