The disappearance of a ginger tom cat from a North Shore cattery has the cattery's owner puzzled and its human parents scouring the streets desperate to find him.
North Shore couple Angelee Gunville and Cale Marsh are distraught after their 4-year-old cat went missing from the Greenhithe cattery while they were on holiday.
But Catsablanca Boarding Cattery owner Joanna Li was baffled over how the cat got out through the locked wire security window and pushed the glass door open because it had never happened before. She claimed she was doing everything she could to find it.
The couple had dropped their cats, Gin and BC, off at Catsablanca on Thursday and were due to collect them today.
But their holiday was cut short after a call from the cattery at 4.50pm on Sunday night saying Gin had escaped while in their care.
Gunville said as soon as they heard the news they packed up and drove from the holiday home they were renting in Paihia to the cattery so they could start looking for him.
They were met by staff at 8.30pm and it was only then when they were told staff had discovered Gin been missing from his private room he was sharing with BC that morning.
Staff told Gunville he had disappeared through a wire cage over the open window which had a push-down lock during the night.
The couple and staff searched until 11pm last night and have been back searching this morning. They have printed hundreds of flyers to hand out, posted a missing notice on community Facebook pages and planned to continue searching this afternoon.
Gunville said the whole situation was distressing as they had asked the staff to keep an eye out for the two cats because they had never been in a cattery before and were inside cats.
She said the ordeal was made even worse that the owner had not taken responsibility or apologised.
"I think she's trying to make it out that they've done everything they possibly could, which isn't the case.
"He's not a genius. He's only a cat. He wouldn't have been strong enough to push the window open."
The couple live in Northcote so they said Gin could be anywhere between Greenhithe and there if he was trying to make it home, which would be about a 15km journey.
But Li, who was the last person to see the Gin when she closed the glass window - leaving it ajar so air could get in - at about 7pm on Saturday, told the Herald she did take responsibility.
She said as soon as staff realised Gin was missing at about 8.30am on Sunday morning they alerted her and they all started searching. They also approached neighbours and scoured nearby properties.
Li said the owners were not contacted until Sunday night because they were focused on doing their own search and because most of the owners were on holiday out of Auckland, which is why the cats were staying with them.
When Li arrived home at 9pm on Sunday night she organised her own search party of friends and family and had been out searching with her husband again today. The cattery also put up its own flyers on community notice boards and bus stops and were hopeful Gin would return when he got hungry.
She acknowledged Gunville was upset and angry, but wanted to reassure her they would keep looking this week. Li took over ownership of the cattery last year and had contacted the previous owners who said it had never happened before. She had also been on the phone to her insurance company.
Li said the ginger tom had been full of energy and every time she had checked on him he seemed to be hanging around the window. But that still did not answer how he had pushed on the lock to open the security window and push open the exterior glass window.
"We are very surprised in that type of room ... We can't believe it can get out. How can it escape?"
Before the Christmas rush staff had checked all the rooms to ensure they were secure.