A CAT has narrowly avoided the crusher after being dumped in a communal wheelie bin – trapped in his carrier.
The white and tabby tomcat, who has been named Sammy by rescuers, was found in the bin in Easter Road.
It has been suggested a “callous” cat-hater could have deliberately left him to die, and that he could have been stolen.
Rescuers today appealed for his owners to come forward.
Vicky Meikle was about to throw a bag of rubbish in the communal bin outside her home last Friday morning when she noticed the terrified cat sitting inside, having managed to wriggle out of the broken carry case.
She said: “He was very frightened and I carried him back to my flat and checked to make sure there were no injuries.
“When I put down some food for him he was certainly hungry but, unfortunately, my unexpected visitor was not made welcome by my own two cats.
“I took him to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home that afternoon to see if they could help.”
The newly named Sammy has settled in well at the home, but staff there are keen to see him reunited with his owners.
EDCH general manager David Ewing said the cat seemed to be unaffected by his ordeal – but said Sammy could have been dumped by people who just “don’t like cats”. He said: “I think it’s incredibly callous of someone to do this. People don’t have to go to these extremes. Rescue centres will accept unwanted animals.”
He added: “There is always the possibility he has been stolen because there are people who are very ‘garden minded’ and some of them do rather extreme things if they don’t like cats.
“He’s a lovely boy and it must have been a horrible experience for him.”
Mr Ewing said Sammy would have been unlikely to escape the crusher had Vicky not come to the rescue.
He said: “Certainly, there was no way he would have managed to get out himself as the bins have really heavy lids.
“It could have had a really terrible end because the vehicles that come to collect the bins just pick them up and the rubbish goes into the chopper part of the bin lorry.”
Sammy, who is to be neutered and microchipped, will remain with EDCH for a few weeks or until the home can establish if he has an owner who wants to take him home.
If no one comes forward, a new home will be found for him.
Anyone with information should contact EDCH, open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, on 0131 669 5331.