Shortland Street actor Sam Bunkall has revealed his guilt at leaving his new kitten alone while he spent days filming.
The first-time pet owner had just adopted one of the largest breeds of domestic cat - a Maine Coon-Ragdoll-Himalayan cross called Mollie - when he found himself and his partner unable to be at home for extended periods.
"I felt so guilty," he said.
"My partner was away and I was working and Mollie was still inside this tiny house.
"I was freaking out and getting friends to go over and play with her."
Bunkall, who joined the Street cast last year as the mysterious new surgeon Boyd Rolleston, described Mollie as the perfect cat.
"She is actually a dream cat. She had already been toilet-trained when we got her at 10 weeks old and she always knows how to treat things. We really struggle to find anything wrong."
He said having her in the house was very much like having a child.
These holidays meant her care had to be factored into their plans. Luckily, family were on hand to cat-sit at their house.
"We're going away but we'll get family members to look after her," he said, "and then we'll look after their cats."
Shortland Street screens weeknights at 7pm on TV2.