A cat that had been missing for five days was rescued by the RSPCA and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) after he had climbed into the chimney of a house and ended up in an internal wall.
The RSPCA was called to a house in Grove Square, New Ferry, Wirral, when a neighbour saw a cat on the roof of a nearby house.
Animal rescuer, inspector Helen Smith attended and could see the feline called Fluffy looking content. He was washing himself and made no attempt to get down.
In these situations, cats will often make their own way down and in this case there was a flat roof extension at a neighbouring property which he could have used as his escape.
However a well-meaning member of the public tried to get the cat down himself and using ladders got onto the roof but this scared Fluffy off, who ran onto the chimney and fell down it at 10.30pm on Sunday 22 February.
MFRS was then called to the scene and fire officers on the roof were able to look 15ft down the chimney but could not see the cat.
There was no sign of Fluffy in the bottom of the chimney either and Helen believed the poor puss was stuck somewhere in the flue which was in the bedroom area.
With the consent of the owners of the house, it was decided to knock a brick out in the bedroom to see if the cat could be spotted.
A firefighter put their hand in to see if they could feel the cat – but frightened Fluffy went to attack it.
Fluffy’s owner Tracey Baker spoke to her pet and enticed her out from the wall – a moment which is captured on camera.
Tracey said: “It was so nice to get Fluffy back – I knew he was on the roof and he is a real climber but could see he would be able to get down if he wanted.
“But obviously he got scared when someone went up to rescue him and he was stuck in the wall of the house.
“I am so glad the RSPCA and firefighters were able to help rescue him and the kind neighbours also played a big part as well as the people at the house where he was found.
“I kept him in for a few days and hope he has learned his lesson so he won’t go too far again – I know he certainly missed his food.”
Helen said: “It really was a struggle trying to locate Fluffy and at one point it was thought he had climbed out of the chimney and ran off.
“But I felt he was in the building somewhere and a neighbour was able to describe the chimney system which helped identify where he might be.
“Then another neighbour came over to help and after firefighters knocked a brick out of the wall of the property – he offered to fix it afterwards for free.
“The homeowners were great in allowing us to gain access in this way. It really was a great team effort by everyone and it was so nice to see Fluffy happy to be reunited with a very relieved owner.
“He was a lucky cat after falling a long way, he could have hit his head or broken his legs.
“In the vast majority of these kinds of cases cats are very capable of getting themselves down from a tree or roof, so unless there are special circumstances, we advise owners to try and coax their pet down with strong-smelling food like fish and if that doesn’t work to give us a call back after 24 hours.”