Stuck kitten is rescued in 5 hour effort

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Jill Astle and Axel. Photos via.


A cute little orange tabby and white kitten got himself stuck in the wheel axle of a van and went on an unplanned trip before being rescued in a 5 hour long effort.

Kitty – who has been named Axle – is now safe and recovering from his ordeal with the cattery manager of the shelter that helped free him.

Axel had wedged himself into a small space, with his little head peering out through a square opening just about the size of his little face when his rescuers set about trying to get him free.

The rescue operation took place after the clearly distressed kitten went along on an 85-90 mile drive from Liverpool to Burton on Trent, UK.

Axel was freed when the van’s drivers, who were headed to Stoke, stopped off at the RSPCA’s Burton Branch saying they were hearing meows coming from their vehicle.

The drivers and RSPCA staff worked together trying to locate the trapped kitten. They unloaded the van, jacked up the vehicle and looked under the hood, but couldn’t spot the cat.

It was the clever use of a mobile phone that helped them to find the little fellow. They removed the vehicle’s back wheels and used the phone’s camera to peer into the axle, where they found the kitten, who was firmly stuck.

The Burton Mail reported on the story Friday.

RSPCA Burton cattery manager Jill Astle is caring for Axle in her home. He joined her there after spending a night at the vet. Jill is quoted in the Burton Mail story saying :

“He was stuck in the space no bigger than your fist.

“We had to use drain rods to push him out, but in the end he was okay.

“It was quite distressing and emotional at the time as we didn’t know how we were going to get him out.

“He was covered in oil and black when he came out. Our main concern was that he had ingested it.”

“He is a little monkey and he tries to get into the smallest spaces possible – behind the cupboards and the kickboards in the kitchen. I have to watch him all the time.

“But he is lovely, is very friendly and is such a character.”

Axle is about 10 weeks old but he will not be made available for adoption until he is six months old, due to a positive result when he was tested for FIV, the feline immunodeficiency virus. He will be tested again at that time to see if he tests negative. If he tests positive again he will be rehomed as an only cat or in a home with other FIV kitties. FIV positive cats can and generally do live normal and long lives. The virus is not easily transmitted between cats and is not transmissible to humans.

The 3 minute 27 second video below shows the poor kitten before the rescue, stuck with his head through a small opening and crying for help. While the video tugs at the heartstrings, it shows kitty’s predicament and the challenge his rescuers faced in getting him safely freed and out.

See Rspca Burton on Trent and District Branch at Facebook







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