THIS is an open letter to the woman who deserted her cat.

Just before Christmas my friend found your cat by the side of the road in Papworth: she was near death and had to be nursed back to health.

She was taken to the vets, who initially didn't find a microchip. In February my friend asked my family to look after this loving cat, who was now called Doris. On July 1 we took her to our vets to be spayed thinking she was a youngster as she was so tiny.

The vet examined her and found a chip. They then spent time trying to contact her previous owners to no avail.

Doris came back to live with us and she was put on a special diet to try to build her up. We last saw her on August 2. I called her microchip company to notify that she was missing (they said the previous owner's details were still on her file and they would change them as soon as possible, which we had already paid for in July) and started calling all the shelters in the area.

Finally on the Saturday I managed to speak to someone at Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester. They told me that sadly she had been put to sleep under the instruction of her owners. This devastated myself, my husband and our two children age seven and 15.

We went up to Wood Green to collect her little body so we could bury her in our garden where she had spent many happy hours. The staff were shocked that the previous owner hadn't told them that they had not had the cat for several months and were also very upset.

We as a family are angry that the microchip company to which we paid money to transfer her ownership to us hadn't done so, but mostly angry that the woman which they spoke to didn't mention that Doris was no longer her cat.

I am so angry that we as a family have had to undergo such an ordeal. We have lost a cat whom we loved and adored who is now buried in our garden. I don't think we shall ever comprehend the heartlessness of the previous owner who didn't even want to see, collect her body nor inform Wood Green that she was no longer her cat.

I hope she can come to terms with her actions because I know we cannot.

CLAIRE-LOUISE HARPHAM

The Crescent

St Neots