This week, we heard about the supermodel who blames United Airlines for killing her beloved golden retriever during a cross-country trip. Today comes another nightmare story about a pet dying unnecessarily: a Massachusetts woman says that she brought her cat to a local animal hospital for a flea bath, and they mistakenly euthanized it.

Colleen Conlon made an appointment to have her cat Lady get a flea bath at Broadway Animal Hospital in Gardner, Mass. last Monday. The fleas had been bothering her "sensitive" dog, and the bath treatment was advised by Dr. Muhammad Malik there. Conlon's son brought Lady over that day: “They had him fill out some paperwork; he said they were like index cards which had basic pet information,” Conlon told Telegram. When he returned with the family's other cat (Little Bit) who was also scheduled to get treatment, things didn't go so well:

But when Mr. Conlon returned with the second cat and said he'd take Lady home if she was finished with her bath, the vet surprised him when he asked, “You want the bodies?”

“At first he thought it was some cruel joke,” Ms. Conlon said, but the veterinarian told her son he'd signed the papers.

He quickly realized Lady was gone. Ms. Conlon said she could not bear to go back for her cat's body, saying she wanted to remember Lady alive and well.

“I don't think there was any malicious intent, but I do think it was negligent,” Conlon said. “I'm sure there are standards of practice they have to follow.” Making things even more tragic is the fact that Lady first belonged to Conlon's daughter, who died in a car accident in 2010. Her daughter had given her the cat about a year before the fatal accident: “She was a beautiful cat and perfectly healthy,” she said. “She was the one who would know when I was sad and would climb in my lap.”