Kim Krajewski-Moore hand-reared grey and white Mandu after he was found abandoned as a week-old kitten in a neighbour’s garden.
This month, at the age of three, Mandu suddenly became critically ill and Kim rushed him to the emergency out of hours clinic called Vets Now.
“I was devastated when they said there was nothing they could do. Mandu was suffering, so we had to have him euthanased. I was heartbroken,” said Kim.
She paid the vets’ more than £125 for an individual cremation, plus a £29 ‘handling fee’.
“My only consolation was that I could order a special necklace to contain Mandu’s ashes so I could wear them next to my heart for ever,” she said.
Kim planned to put the rest of the ashes in a little urn at the top of the stairs at her Bletchley home - the cat’s favourite spot to sit.
But when she returned to collect the ashes, Vets Now could find no trace of them.
“After lots of enquiries with the crematorium, which is in Cambridge, the vets’ practice admitted they made an error and Mandu did not go for individual cremation. So there were no ashes,” said Kim
“My lovely boy was cremated along with other people’s cats, dogs and rabbits.
“Vets Now offered me a full refund and a bush or plant for my garden as compensation. I was appalled. How can a bush replace my Mandu?”
Vets Now is the emergecny out of hours vet covering most of Milton Keynes.
A spokesman from the company told the Citizen: “On behalf of all of the Vets Now team at our clinic in Milton Keynes we wish to offer our client, Ms Krajewski-Moore, our deepest condolences on the loss of her beloved pet, Mandu. Importantly, we also wish to offer our sincerest apology for the human error which, denied Ms Krajewski-Moore of precious ashes of her pet.
“This was the result of human error caused by a change in process at our Milton Keynes clinic, which we made to accommodate the specific needs of Ms Krajewski-Moore. In making these changes we have later failed to manage the cremation in the manner chosen by the client.
“We understand that the loss of a beloved companion is both emotional and traumatic, and that we have failed at the worst of times. To that end we realise we can’t sufficiently remedy this situation. We have extended an offer of a memorial to Mandu, of Ms Krajewski-Moore’s choice, which we hope goes some way to capturing the memory of Mandu.
“We have undertaken a full review of how this happened and will implement the necessary checks in the future.”