A Bromley family say their lives have “turned upside down” after their cat went missing while they were on holiday.

They say their "home and hearts now have a gaping hole” because of the disappearance.

Erik Gerstenmaier, 38, was enjoying his first holiday in two years with his wife and nine-month old baby when their cat reportedly escaped from Oakley Hotel for Cats.

Taco, two, was staying with his brother before he is said to have wandered from the cattery in Oakley Road, Keston, between October 2 and October 3.

The family was informed of the devastating news on their return to their house in Bromley Common.

Erik has hired The Pet Detectives, who use a sniffer dog to try and recognise a missing cat’s scent, and he has released thousands of posters and leaflets as well as reviewing CCTV.

A planned visit to America for Thanksgiving so his parents can meet his baby for the first time has now been postponed.

“We are absolutely distraught,” he told News Shopper. “It has thrown our lives upside down.”

Taco is a rescue cat and is jet black, slender with short hair.

News Shopper:

Erik and his family adopted him after losing their previous cat to an aggressive cancer.

The family moved home before being comfortable adopting two new cats.

Erik said: “Taco was the first kitten to come up boldly to me. We knew we had to have him. Him and his brother are inseparable.

“He follows me everywhere around the house. He also loves trying to get into my son’s crib. We are beside ourselves with grief.”

The dad said until Taco is home his little boy will continue to miss his bedtime buddy and the cat's brother is distressed and anxious.

A spokeswoman for the cattery said Taco managed to push through wires to escape and it was the first time something like this had happened in over a decade.

Taco was wearing a red reflective collar and a silver tag when he went missing. The family is offering a reward for his safe return.

Anyone with information can email Erik on erik.gerstenmaier@gmail.com