They say curiosity killed the cat – but thankfully this fearless feline had a lucky escape after its adventures landed it in hot water.
Tiny kitten Tinker is lucky to be alive after crawling inside a washing machine and being trapped there while the machine went through a wash cycle.
The ten-week-old tortoiseshell, unnoticed amongst the clothes, was inside the appliance as it was set to a 30-degree wash.
Owner Emma Lothian began searching her home in Mayfield, Midlothian, when she noticed the kitten had gone missing.
“I’d been doing some housework and I noticed Tinker wasn’t running around as usual,” said Emma, who lives with husband Nigel, 30, and children Connor, nine, Amy, six, Declan, two, and baby Kodie.
“Then I heard something coming from the washing machine.
“I had a look and I saw her stuck inside on top of all the clothes.
“The kids were close to tears when we found her.”
Thinking fast, Emma prised the door of the machine open with a wallpaper scraper.
“Tinker was soaked right through and her eyes had clouded over.
“I wrapped her up in a towel and took her to the vet, but honestly, it didn’t look as if she would pull through.”
Rushed to Market Cross Veterinary Clinic in Dalkeith, Tinker was placed in a heated oxygen chamber in a bid to save her life.
Vet John Buxton said: “Luckily, Tinker had managed to avoid inhaling any of the water, otherwise she would have drowned.
“When she came in she was completely hypothermic and her temperature wasn’t even registering on our thermometer.
“In my 15 years as a vet, this is the first time I have treated a cat that managed to get in to a washing machine. We were just amazed that she recovered.
“If the washing machine had been on a higher temperature or had gone in to a spin cycle, I shudder to think what would have happened.
“One thing’s for certain – I don’t think Tinker will ever be that clean again.”
After her miraculous recovery, Tinker is now back at home with her sister, Bell, and has become a star on the Market Cross Facebook page where details of her ordeal were posted.
Emma said: “It’s great now she is back to her normal self, we’re so pleased that the vet managed to help her.
“But we’re definitely going to have to keep a close eye on her. She’s not allowed in the kitchen now.”
Elaine Pendlebury, senior vet with the PDSA, said: “Cats are attracted to confined spaces and, in the case of tumble dryers, warmth.
“I would always advise owners to shut washing machine and tumble dryer doors and check before switching them on.”