A cat who went for a wander around Oakham got himself into a spot of mischief when he became trapped inside the wall of a shop’s store room.
Firefighters, the RSPCA and shop staff went on a three-hour rescue mission on Monday, which included thermal imaging cameras, to locate and release adventurous feline Lightey, who was stuck in a wall cavity at the back of The Kitchen Range Shop in Mill Street.
Speaking after his return, emotional owner Angela Thomas said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that I have him back. It must of been very traumatic for him and his twin brother cried and cried while he was gone. But I’m so glad it had a happy ending.”
The two-year-old rare Korat went missing from his home in Catmos Street on Friday. He was spotted in the store by staff on Friday afternoon, who put him in the courtyard out the back in the hope he would return home. Staff were notified of his disappearance on Saturday.
The shop was closed on Sunday, but on Monday shop assistant Emma Boden picked up a note put through the door from someone who had seen a cat peering through the front window.
Despite a good search around the store, Emma could not find the cat but knew he would still be inside somewhere as the shop was locked up after closing time on Saturday. Emma called Angela, who rushed to the shop to help with the search.
She repeated calls of “where are you boy?” and with that came the sound of meowing.
The cat had managed to get into an air vent and found itself wedged inside a tight wall cavity behind a false wall in the old building.
Firefighters and an RSPCA vet were called and after locating the animal via thermal imaging equipment they used a plank of wood to try and coax him out. This failed, but when they started drilling a hole near where Lightey was sat, he shot up the plank, out of the wall, and back into the arms of Angela.
Angela added: “I’m so grateful to the fireman, RSPCA and staff at the shop.
“I hope he’s learnt his lesson. I’ll be keeping a close eye on him now.”