A TRES-PUSSING moggy ruined a cream carpet after sneaking into a great-grandmother's flat.

The cat got into Regina Board's home through the front door - but it had earlier trodden in anti-vandal paint and ended up leaving black sticky pawprints all over her clean property.

Now 89-year-old Mrs Board, of Mervyn Webb Place in Gorse Hill is furious that neither Swindon Council - whose workers were applying the paint to a nearby fence - nor her insurance company will pay out to replace the 12ft by 14ft Wilton Royal Charter wool carpet.

"I'm disgusted neither of them will do anything," said Mrs Board, who has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

"I thought I would have been covered having paid for an insurance policy since I moved in here eight years ago.

"I even got a carpet cleaner round to try and get the marks removed but he said he couldn't shift it."

The cat had climbed on a back wall and its paws were covered in the council paint, which is used to prevent graffiti tags.

It got into her home through the front door after Mrs Board opened it to allow some fresh air in.

She had fallen asleep on the sofa and upon waking she discovered the vandalising feline brushing its dirty paws all over the room.

"I woke up to find the cat at my feet," she said. "What a messy little blighter.

"I haven't seen it before or since - although it looked well cared for."

Her granddaughter Charlene Edwards, 35, from Haydon End, said: "I can't believed she's not covered on her insurance.

"We've had to put a large mat over the carpet to cover it as it looks such a state.

"But I'm worried she'll trip and hurt herself on it."

Magic Carpets fitted the floor covering after Mrs Board's granddaughter gave it to her as a present.

The council's response was that Regina had no automatic right to compensation.

"Liability is denied on this occasion as we used the anti-vandal paint as required and did not negligently leave any excess paint in the area," it said.

"We are unable to control the actions of stray cats and it would be impossible for us to prevent this accident from occurring."

The council said that while it was sympathetic, it was unable to offer compensation, as "negligence has not been proven".

And it added: "Insurers will be unable to be of any financial assistance on this occasion."

A spokeswoman for Swindon Council said: "Anti-vandal paint is an effective deterrent against anti-social behaviour and vandalism and its usage is widely supported among residents.

"We sympathise with Mrs Board, but this incident is unfortunately one which the council could not have foreseen or prevented.

"For this reason it was not possible to offer compensation for the damaged carpet."

Mrs Board's claim to Royal & Sun Alliance was met with the following response: "The current insurance policy held provides cover for loss or damage to the contents of your home."

The firm said the loss for which Mrs Board was claiming was "specifically excluded from cover".