Jermaine Pennant claims his dog "massacred" 'Hollyoaks' actress Jennifer Metcalfe's pet cat - and he paid professional cleaners to scrub away the evidence.

Jennifer Metcalfe

Jennifer Metcalfe

The 35-year-old footballer believes his ex-girlfriend will be "absolutely devastated" to find out that her pricey Persian pet was murdered by his pet pooch Shadow years ago when they were dating, and insists this is the first time she will have heard about her furry friend's death - after he told her the mauled moggy had gone missing at the time.

In an extract of his new autobiography 'Mental: Bad Behaviour, Ugly Truths and the Beautiful Game', which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror newspaper, he writes: "I've never said a word in public about this before, because the girl I was seeing, my ex-girlfriend Jennifer Metcalfe, would be absolutely devastated. If she ever reads this, she'll never forgive me.

"Whenever we went away for the weekend, my mate Sam would come round and check on them [their pets]. One day, we were away and I got a phone call from Sam, in a bit of a state.

"He said, 'Shadow's killed the cat. I mean, J, he's absolutely massacred it. That back door onto the patio, it wasn't locked, and he must've forced it open. Shadow must have caught one of the cats on the landing - there's blood everywhere.'

"Sam took a picture of the scene on his phone and sent it to me. There was blood all over the carpets, the wall, on the banister. This Persian cat was very dead. I can't imagine the fear of the poor thing. It was a really horrendous, distressing scene."

Jermaine admitted he was "panicking like mad" upon hearing the news from his pal and they hatched a plan to tell the star - who plays Mercedes McQueen in the Channel 4 soap - that her beloved cat had escaped.

His friend had to hire a pro cleaner and a painter and decorator to sort out the blood-splatted walls because they were a "write off", but Jermaine didn't tell Jennifer the truth for fear she would dump him - and he has now said sorry to her via his book.

He added: "When we got back home, Jennifer was upset for ages. She went around all the neighbourhood, saying, 'Have you seen this cat?' Then, at work, she printed off posters with a picture of the cat, offering a reward.

"There I was, driving into training, and seeing posters all round Liverpool appealing for a white cat. It was the most mortifying experience of my life.

"So, look Jennifer, if you're reading this, then I'm really, truly sorry, but if I'd told you then we'd have broken up."

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