Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmas decoration found in cat

Stephanie Williams and Leah
Leah has fully recovered from the surgery

A Middlesbrough woman was surprised to find a missing Christmas decoration in the stomach of her beloved cat, Leah.

Claire Smith from Middlesbrough became concerned when the one-year-old feline began suffering chronic sickness and weight loss.

An X-ray revealed the perfectly-formed Christmas tree decoration in the black cat's abdomen.

The animal underwent surgery to remove the tiny tree, which had broken into two pieces.

'Stressful period'

Vets at the PDSA animal charity carried out the surgery.

Head nurse Stephanie Williams said: "The last thing we expected to see was a Christmas tree staring back at us on the X-ray.

"Even small foreign bodies can cause so much trouble in pets."

Miss Smith, 27, said: "I was very surprised when the vets told me that Leah had swallowed a Christmas tree.

"I can see the lighter side of it now but it was a very stressful period.

"Now I make sure that nothing is left lying around that Leah can get her paws on."

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