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Holly Willoughby breaks down in tears as she talks about death of her beloved cat Roxy

Ainhoa Barcelona

Holly Willoughby wiped away tears as she spoke about her beloved cat Roxy, who died unexpectedly last week.

The presenter of This Morning made an emotional appearance on live television, speaking about the family pet and revealing the moment she had to tell her young children Roxy had passed away.

"A really strange thing on Thursday night, she went to sleep, we came down in the morning and she passed away in her sleep," said Holly. "There had been nothing wrong with her. It was a real shock for everybody. She was a big part of the family, always been there for the kids."

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"Belle was wailing and Harry was very quiet," said Holly, as she described how her children reacted

Holly, 35, had to compose herself as she fought back tears, and then carried on saying: "As soon as I found out I thought, 'How am I going to tell the kids?' I said Roxy wasn't very well. She had a sister who died as a kitten, Peaches, so I said Peaches would be waiting for her in heaven. I think it helped them to know she won't be on her own.

"Belle was wailing and Harry was very quiet and didn't really say a thing. But before bed he went, 'I've been really brave today, I haven't cried.' And I said, 'It's okay, you don't have to be brave.' And then he went [started crying].'"

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"She passed away in her sleep," said Holly

Holly's co-host Ben Shephard comforted the mum-of-three, speaking about his family's pet rabbit that was killed by a fox. Viewers who are struggling with pet bereavement were then invited to phone in and seek support about how to deal with their loss.

"I feel a bit silly saying it because it's only a cat but it's part of your family," said Holly. "We thought we'd have a phone in of this today because it affects so many people."

The Celebrity Juice star took to Instagram to announce her heartbreaking news last week. Alongside a close-up photo of Roxy, a gorgeous black-and-white cat, Holly wrote: "Goodbye my friend... RIP Roxy."

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