The wife of a British lawmaker appeared in court Thursday charged with breaking into the house of her husband's lover and stealing a tabby kitten.
Christine Hemming, wife of Liberal Democrat member of parliament John Hemming who represents the Birmingham Yardley constituency in central England, is accused of burgling the home of Emily Cox, a researcher with whom the MP fathered a child in 2005.
The burglary is reported to have taken place on Sept. 29.
The 52-year-old was released on bail and will reappear at Birmingham magistrates' court on Dec. 16, the U.K.'s Press Association news service reported.
The kitten was said to be worth 20 pounds ($31.58).
On his blog on Thursday, John Hemming published a picture of the missing kitten, Beauty, and asked for anyone who had seen her to contact him at the House of Commons.
The appeal was posted at the top of the main page, above entries discussing plans to cut government spending, college student finance, jobs for disabled and long-term unemployed people and children in care.
"I have spent some time looking for the kitten and there is a reward for the safe return of the kitten," Hemming said. "Her brother Twinkle is pining for her."
'I was upset'
The U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper said that Hemming had voted for himself in a newspaper poll to find the "Love Rat of the Year" after admitting he had fathered a child with Cox.
However, the newspaper said his wife had backed his attempt to become leader of the Liberal Democrat party despite once saying that he had cheated on her about 26 times.
"I was upset when I first heard about his affair with Emily Cox, just as anyone would be," she has said previously, the Mail reported.
"It was quite hard to deal with and I obviously felt betrayed. But I had a lot of support from John. It's not an ideal situation. But lots of people don't have ideal situations. You have to look to the positive side of these situations and move on," she added.
"It was an unfortunate incident and I wish it hadn't happened, but we are making the best of the situation. We have got a healthy baby who is an addition to our family," she continued. "I have seen her on a number of occasions. There is no point dwelling on the past. We need to look at how we can effectively support everyone concerned."