October 08, 2012 07:30 PM

Lydia the cat had a confession to make: She’d swallowed a crucifix belonging to her owner, Pamela Smith.

But it would take several months and a very important X-ray before the Smith family would discover what their 10-month-old kitten had ingested.

The family, from North Shields, England, first realized something was wrong when the female cat fell ill in June.

“She was retching and being sick and she was struggling to eat her food,” Smith told the Daily Mail.

When treatment for a kidney infection didn’t work, vets ordered an X-ray, which revealed the feline had swallowed a crucifix, a recent birthday present to Smith’s daughter, Emily, that had been dangling on a necklace.

“We worked out that she had been playing with the pink ribbon and had swallowed the whole lot,” Smith said. “No wonder she was feeling off colour after having swallowed all that. It can’t have been the easiest thing to swallow.”

The sharp edges of the cross became wedged in the cat s intestines, which made surgery tricky, but it was successfully removed and Lydia is now recovering well.

“I was worried, but it came out better than expected,” said veterinarian Arlene Chappell. “We do a lot of operations for balls and seaweed getting stuck, and coins too, but I’ve never seen anything quite as strange as this.”

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