Pretty blonde Natasha Goldsworth can’t find a man – because her flat is filled with £50,000 worth of ‘Hello Kitty’ collectibles.
Horse trainer Natasha, 29, got hooked on the cartoon character as a teenager and has spent 15 years collecting 10,000 items.
Every room of her tiny flat is now crammed with Hello Kitty accessories including jewellery, furniture, clothing, curtains, and 4,000 cuddly toys.
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Her ‘Kitty Kingdom’ is a massive turn-off to blokes – but Natasha is happy to give them the push if they don’t accept her obsession.
She said: “Boyfriends in the past have tried to make me give her up, so I got rid of them. It’s part of who I am and I’m not changing for anybody.
“One boyfriend tried to tell me not to wear my Hello Kitty clothes and said I should grow up or wear something that doesn’t make me look so young.
“Others have asked me to sell my collection and I’ve had to tell them no.
“If a man doesn’t like my kitty kingdom and can’t accept me for who I am then I’m not interested in them.”
Natasha’s obsession began in 2000 when a Japanese school friend gave her a little Hello Kitty notebook as a gift.
She fell in love with the cute little cat and started buying bigger items like curtains, lunch boxes, a gum ball machine and a even a themed Christmas tree.
In 2004, aged 19, Natasha moved her and her kitties into a cramped one-bedroom flat in Exeter, Devon.
Since then she has packed every room to the brim with everything from kitchenware to clothes.
As well as appliances and crockery, she has collected every item imaginable – dolls houses, jewellery, tiaras, lamps and furniture sets.
Natasha said: “I live in my little pink lagoon with all my kitties, they cheer me up and I like having them around me.
“Before people come over I do have to warn them about my kitty kingdom because some people just can’t handle it.”
Standing at 3ft tall, her biggest item is a giant Hello Kitty wearing a polka dot dress.
She said: “I call her the boss and she’s almost as big as me. She has to live in the hall because she’s too big for my bedroom.
“As soon as people notice her they always say ‘wow, look at that huge kitty!’.
|HELLO KITTY FACTS!Hello Kitty is a fictional character created by the Japanese company San Rio. She was born in London in 1974 and her actual name is Kitty White. She has a father, George, a mother, Mary, a sister Mimmy, and a best friend called Dear Daniel.Hello Kitty’s designer Yuko Shimizu is said to have based Kitty on the cat from called Kitty in Lewis Carrol’s book Through the Looking Glass.The character has developed into a multi-billion marketing phenomenon and is recognised around the world.Keen observers will notice that Kitty does not have a mouth. San Rio claims that this is because Kitty transcends language barriers. They put part of Kitty’s success down to the idea that people are able to project their own feelings onto her – a passive friend for any mood.|
Natasha isn’t a fan of high street Hello Kitty so goes online to track down her rare items and most of her items are imported from America and Japan.
She also sources items through www.hellokitty4u.com, a website she writes and edits in her spare time.
Her most valuable item is a limited edition cuddly Hello Kitty wearing a handmade Hanita wedding dress which she bought for #250 but is now worth a staggering £600.
She said: “When I get married I want to wear the same Hanita dress. My dad’s already agreed to wear a pink tie and I want to have Hello Kitty on top of the wedding cake.”
Natasha had to reign in her spending on Kitty after chronic pancreatitis forced her to give up work as a horse trainer in 2011.
But the collection continues to grow as friends and relatives buy her nothing else for Christmas and birthdays.
She said: “Everyone knows I don’t buy myself high street Hello Kitty, so they’ll give it to me for Christmas and my birthday.
“Luckily, I’ve got some friends in Japan and America who post gifts to me too.”
Natasha’s particular obsession is with Hello Kitty handbags, of which she owns hundreds.
She admits she has had to sacrifice other things to fund her addiction, and says he hasn’t been on holiday or out for dinner for years.
Natasha, who is also a budding musician, dreams of putting her obsession to good use.
Her ambition is to raise money for chronic pancreatitis by collaborating with Hello Kitty’s creators, Sanrio.
This year marks London-born Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, for which Natasha will be collecting as much as she can.
She said: “I’m actually thinking about moving into a bigger place. There just isn’t enough room for all of my kitties.”