A CAT OWNER is desperately searching for her pet after a mix-up at a cattery meant he went home with the wrong owner.

Sue Nicholson is putting out nearly 5,000 leaflets around South Shore to try and trace her beloved seven-year-old tabby, Tilly.

"I put him into the kennels on September 17. I went to Devon and came back on September 23 to be told that Tilly had been collected by someone else," she said.

"Tilly was in a pen with his name on and he was put in a box with his name on!"

But Tilly's 'new' owners took him home and let him out of the house, thinking it was their own cat, she said.

"They have got a dog so the cat did a bunk," said Sue.

"They went back to the kennels and got their cat. They just said they're sorry."

Tilly was last seen in the Highfield Road area, South Shore.

"It's not my intention to destroy the kennel's reputation. I just want my cat back," Sue said.

Tilly was staying at South Shore's Westway kennels and cattery, Pedders Lane. Current owners, Shaun and Margaret Lord, said they are "absolutely devastated" with Tilly's disappearance.

Shaun said: "Ultimately, I have got to say it's our responsibility. It's just that you do get to trust customers.

"Margaret is a caring person and we are absolutely devastated about it. Obviously now nobody goes and collect their own cat, no matter how long they have been coming here."

He said Westway has helped with posters, and Shaun has driven round the streets himself trying to find Tilly.

He added: "It's not something we are happy about, but we are honest here. And we have prided ourselves on running a place that we would put our own animals in. The majority of our customers have been happy."

Tilly's disappearance has however prompted Sue, of Maple Avenue, Blackpool, to 'stay positive' and set up a website - www.mymoggy.com - to help other owners searching for missing pets in the Blackpool area.

"The first thing I did when Tilly went missing was to contact all the sanctuaries and so on in the area, but it took me a full week," she said.

"I wanted to amalgamate all the details into one place for people."

She appealed for anyone who has seen Tilly, or knows of his whereabouts, to get in touch on 07094 671689. Tilly is a large, male tabby with four white feet and a white bib and belly. His top lip has distinctive half ginger, half white colouring.