Phoebe the cat rescued by firefighters after getting stuck between two walls
A timid young cat had the fright of her life when she got stuck in a tiny gap between two walls - during one of the first times she had ventured out of her house.
Phoebe, a rescue cat, managed to get herself jammed into a space just a few inches wide between a garage and the side of the house where her owners live in Hassocks, West Sussex.
The terrified animal found herself stuck fast, pinned in place by her pelvis for a number of hours.
Her frightened meowing alerted owner Jon Harper, who called the RSPCA and local fire service to help free her.
After firefighters carefully cut into the garage's brickwork the young cat was plucked to freedom, trembling and covered in dust.
Mr Harper, 35, who lives with his parents after moving home from London, said Phoebe, the family pet, was just getting used to going out when she got into her predicament on Thursday.
He said: "She is just under a year old and is a rescue cat. She is quite nervous so has been slow to venture outdoors and stays close to the house.
"I went outside and saw that she wasn't around, and then I heard her calling out and found she had got herself trapped between the garage and the house walls.
"I didn't know if she was running from another cat but she had pulled herself really far into it from one side."
Mr Harper, a writer and editor, said Phoebe was wedged tight as the gap tapered down to just a few inches.
He said: "Frustratingly she was only a few feet from getting out the other side into the garden. She couldn't move at all and her head was at an angle and she was all crushed and pinned.
"I could hear her from all around the neighbourhood. She was calling out for ages and was stuck for a good few hours."
Realising he could not free her himself he called the emergency services and RSPCA to help.
Firefighters removed bricks from the garage and gently lifted her to safety.
Mr Harper said: "She was completely traumatised. She is perfect now, but was trembling for hours and had brick dust all around her eyes and her heart rate was very fast. I took her to the vet and she was just in shock and had lots of bruising and broken claws."
But young Phoebe has now made a full recovery.
Mr Harper said: "She is back to chasing me around and biting me. We wanted to keep her indoors for a few days but the next day she was at the front door wanting to get out of the house. She hasn't lost her sense of adventure."
RSPCA animal welfare officer Marie Stevens, who helped in Phoebe's rescue, added: " I've been an RSPCA officer for 22 years but seeing animals in distress doesn't get any easier. Luckily with the skills from the fire officers we were able to safely free poor Phoebe."