Funeral home rescue: Cat in Ilfracombe rescued after spending six days trapped in a small chimney

North Devon Animal Ambulance is a charity located in the district of Devon, England. Earlier this week they were called out to help a cat who had spent six long days in a disused chimney shaft at a funeral home in Ilfracombe.

cat rescued from chimney

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Mrs. Williams of Williams Funeral Directors in Portland St, Ilfracombe contacted North Devon Animal Ambulance after hearing the cat meowing and scratching from the small chimney, which was only 10 inches in diameter and went up four stories.

Mr. Williams constructed a small ladder and food was left at the base of the chimney. The poor kitty didn’t come down and the couple was afraid there would be no way to free the cat. The heartbreaking story was posted on Facebook by North Devon stating

“They rang the RSPCA but the inspector was unable to help with the problem. They then contacted Diana who attended the premises with her colleague Pauline.

cat stuck
Cat was stuck in chimney

When they assessed the situation their hearts sank and they were about to pronounce it reluctantly as “Mission Impossible” when Mr. Williams produced a photograph that he had taken with his phone. The picture was jet black apart from two emerald pin pricks. It was proof positive that something was up there and that it was still alive.

On top of this they had heard reports of a missing black and white cat in the area and the Williams’s were adamant that a rescue should be attempted regardless of possible damage to the fragile chimney.”

Diana made several calls to businesses she knew used flex camera and before long Diana reached Claire Griffin, receptionist for Metro Rod.  Lee Rendell with Metro Rod was contacted and was soon on his way to the scene from Exeter, which was two hours away.

cat being rescued
a drain rod coaxed Cat out

Ilfracombe Fire Service joined in to help with the rescue.  Lee had an impressive computer operated camera and after some time he had sight of the cat on a narrow ledge some 30-40 feet up the chimney. It looked both weak and terrified.

The cat (named Cat) and was caught in the arms of the Commander of the Fire Service and placed gently into the waiting basket after being coaxed off his perch using a drain rod. Cat was taken to the NDAA clinic in Barnstaple and is recovering well. His owners are thankful to those involved in the rescue who didn’t give up and eventually saved his life.

Dave Tafner, of Metro Rod said during an interview with Mirror News

“We cannot refuse when someone comes with a story like that. It touched the heart strings, it was the least we could do.”

Click here to read the entire Facebook post. Photos courtesy of North Devon Animal Ambulance. Our thanks go out to everyone who played a part in Cat’s rescue, especially the funeral home owners who were determined to save him even if damage was done to the chimney.


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