‘Heartbroken’ Dermot O’Leary pays emotional tribute after family cat Silver passes away

Dermot O’Leary has shared his heartbreak after his family cat Silver passed away.

The X Factor host, 44, opened up about the loss in an emotional Instagram post, where he recalled how the beloved moggy came into his life during a trip to Italy, and explained how attached he and wife Dee had become to him over the years.

‘No words can begin to describe what a massive heart shaped hole he leaves in our lives,’ Dermot wrote, alongside a black and white photograph of himself holding Silver.

‘He made our house a home, made us better people, and won the hearts of all that met him. He gave & received unconditional love, and was genuinely the most dog like cat we’ve ever met.’

Had to finally say goodbye to our little Italian boy Silver today. He bravely fought on for 7 months against a horrible heart condition (originally given days to live back in December.) One tough little Puglia paisano cat! No words can begin to describe what a massive heart shaped hole he leaves in our lives. He made our house a home, made us better people, and won the hearts of all that met him. He gave & received unconditional love, and was genuinely the most dog like cat we've ever met. He was only 4. And in our minds, that means he's joined the 27 club- in cat years. He lived up to the mantra… live fast and die young. As heartbroken as we are, we are so grateful for the stray kitten which came into our lives. From the moment he came into the world in an olive grove in Puglia, (Dee actually helped deliver him, in a deft piece of cat midwifery) to his last breath holding onto his mama- he was a wonderful friend, companion & cuddle giver, and you couldn't have wished for a more human like cat. Smart, funny, intuitive, with a model looks & a killer blue steel. Born, raised and went to sleep in his mama's arms. You couldn't have wished for a more dignified & serene passing. Rest easy little prince, we miss you terribly. Snooze & play on the laps of those who we followed, and know we'll be rubbing that brilliant white belly, and massaging those beautiful pink paws, further on up the road. Special thanks to Fran, @franowen9271 Kate, @katehsheard Chantelle & all at 'The Village Vets' who kept that engine going for as long as they could. But some hearts are just too big to be here too long. Love you forever little man, Your Mama, Papa & sister Toto xxx

A post shared by Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) on

Silver had been battling a heart condition for several months, having been given just days to live back in December, and finally lost his battle at the age of four – or as Dermot added, 27 in cat years.

‘As heartbroken as we are, we are so grateful for the stray kitten which came into our lives,’ he continued.

‘From the moment he came into the world in an olive grove in Puglia, (Dee actually helped deliver him, in a deft piece of cat midwifery) to his last breath holding onto his mama- he was a wonderful friend, companion & cuddle giver, and you couldn’t have wished for a more human like cat.’

‘Smart, funny, intuitive, with a model looks & a killer blue steel. Born, raised and went to sleep in his mama’s arms. You couldn’t have wished for a more dignified & serene passing.’

Dermot closed his tribute with a heartfelt thank you to the vets that had cared for Silver, and then concluded: ‘Some hearts are just too big to be here too long. Love you forever little man.’

His 343K followers have rushed to send messages of support and comfort to the star, with many sharing stories of their own pets in similar circumstances.

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‘I had to say goodbye to my cat a year ago after having her for 17 years. She was such a big part of our lives and I still miss her every day and the way she used to greet me when I came home. I know exactly how you feel @radioleary,’ one fan empathised.

‘I won’t lie, this made me well-up,’ another agreed. ‘Beautiful post and so sorry for the loss of your little prince’.