London, June 7 (ANI): A cat leapt out of an open window in a veterinary just as it was due to be castrated by the vet.
Lexi, the cat, was discovered to be missing only after its owner Maria Brown went to collect it from the surgery and was given a pet rabbit instead.
The two-year-old cat made the dash for freedom through an open window while its sister, Angel, went through with neutering as planned.
Brown said she was "too distraught" to talk about her missing pet and was hoping Lexi would find his own way home.
The tabby cat bolted from Woosehill Vets in Woosehill, near Wokingham, Berks, four miles from Brown's home in Woodley.
She went to collect her two cats after their operations on June 3, having dropped them off the day before.
However, staff at the vet's handed her a rabbit in place of Lexi. When she pointed out the mistake, she was told Lexi had gone missing.
The veterinary practice manager said the rabbit was handed over by mistake because Brown said she had come to collect two animals and the rabbit was the next one on the operating table after Angel.
"Maria is very upset. She took two cats to Woosehill Vets for neutering and a castration and on returning the next day the female was there but the male had gone," the Telegraph quoted Julie Bobb, a neighbour and close friend of Brown, as saying.
"To be honest, the vet was very vague and we were there about three hours - they were dithering around and didn't realise the cat was missing.
"We got there, explained we had come to collect two animals and they came back with one cat and the other animal was a bunny rabbit.
"Lexi is a huge male tabby cat and he may be trying to find his way home but obviously Woosehill to Woodley is quite a way," she stated.
The manager of the vet's practice, who did not want to be named, said staff were embarrassed by the error.
"Normally what happens is that people pick up their pets the same day that they bring them in to be spayed. But this woman didn't do that, she left them with us overnight, which is very rare," he said.
"I hope that lady will one day find the courage to forgive us. I am so very, very sorry.
"I can't apologise enough for what happened. She is right to be upset and I have contacted her two or three times to say I'm sorry," he added.
The manager said he was considering sending a bunch of flowers to Brown to apologise. (ANI)