Runaway hamster discovered in terrified neighbour’s bath

Skye Collier, left, and Gill Bellshaw with the elusive Izy. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Skye Collier, left, and Gill Bellshaw with the elusive Izy. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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MOST people have suffered the indignity of finding a spider in the bath . . .

So imagine how miffed Gill Bellshaw was when her hopes for a long relaxing soak in the tub were scuppered by something a little larger – a hamster.

The furry brown and white intruder is believed to have popped out of the plughole after somehow escaping from its cage and getting into a pipe.

After she’d calmed down – and got a neighbour to help her catch the pet – she put an appeal for its rightful owners on Facebook.

It was only then that Ms Bellshaw discovered the rogue rodent belonged to a teenage girl in the same block as her. It is thought hamster Izy had somehow managed to clamber up the pipes to the first-floor flat from the ground floor of the next four-flat block in Northfield, ­Tranent.

She has now been reunited with delighted owner, Skye Collier, 14.

The relieved teenager has renamed her pet “Izy Bubbles”, in honour of Saturday evening’s escapade.

“It’s hilarious,” Ms Bellshaw said. “I was going to have a nice bath before Britain’s Got Talent. I went into my bathroom, was just about to turn on my tap and there was a hamster in the bath, at which point I screamed and ran off.”

The 56-year-old childminder said her husband, Alan, 63, did not believe her to start with – but soon realised his wife was not fibbing when he saw the creature cowering under the bathroom unit. “It was like something out of a comedy,” Ms Bellshaw added.

“We’re both not keen on these things. I was beginning to think I had lost the plot. We blocked the door with a towel, and we sat there, thinking ‘what are we going to do?’”

The couple shut the hamster in the bathroom before calling a pal to help trap Izy in a cage. Desperate to find out where the escapee came from, Ms Bellshaw posted an appeal on the ‘For Sale or Wanted in East Lothian’ Facebook page before knocking on neighbours’ doors and texting local residents – but the rightful owners were out at the time.

It was only when Skye’s mum, Emma Peacock, got a text from a neighbour to ask if they had lost their pet that the mystery was solved.

The 36-year-old said: “We keep her in our kitchen, and we have a open vent, so we think she climbed through there and then gone upstairs.”

Skye was so delighted to be reunited with her pet that she made Gill a thank you card.

The third-year Ross High pupil said: “She has never done this before, I have had her for six months.”

Despite the fact she is still baffled as to how Izy Bubbles got into her bathroom, Ms Bellshaw says there has been one “brilliant” offshoot. “I’m now talking to neighbours who I never really knew at all,” she said.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com