Cat Gets Stuck in Laundry Vent, Rescuer Grabs Butter & Gets To Work Trying To Free Her

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Critters are very good at getting into trouble. They eat things they shouldn’t, chew on valuable items, and seek out hidey holes that are too small for them.

It’s difficult to tell if they’re doing these things on purpose, or are just curious or clumsy — either way, they end up needing our help in many situations.

This story takes place in England, but anyone who has had a cat can probably imagine a similar incident with their own feline.

Apparently, this British cat found a dryer vent hole and decided to see if it could fit. The problem was, the hole was only 6 inches wide, and there was a grate at the other end.

The cat was stuffed in with no room to turn, move or be pulled out. The only part of the cat sticking out was the tail, and, well, that wasn’t much use.

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When the owner saw what their cat had done, they called for help. According to Fox, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sent out Glenn Baird, an animal collection officer.

“The curious cat had crawled inside the vent and pipework for the tumble dryer and got jammed in tight,” Baird said. “I couldn’t get anything around her in order to pull her free and it was such a small space — only about 6in wide — that I couldn’t get my hand in either.”

“All you could see was her tail poking out of the end, and her face through the grate on the outside.”

But he had a trick up his sleeve that he thought might work. There was no room around the cat, so he used a popsicle stick (lolly stick) and some butter to try to free her.

“I put butter inside the pipe using a lolly stick, removed the vent cover with my hammer, and pushed her,” he reported. “Luckily, she slid right out.”

Will the cat try again? Difficult to say. If she does, though, at least her owner will have an idea of what to do.

Butter has helped more than one trapped creature lately. Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre of Wiltshire was brought a bedraggled bat who’d found his way onto a sticky fly trap.

His fragile wings were stuck to the glue, and he was tired and had torn some of his fur off in his struggles to break free.  “He’d flown straight into it — face first — with his wings outstretched,” one of the workers, Jess Ostler, said according to BBC.

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“He hadn’t been there for more than 24 hours but his wings were stuck and all around his face was sore and missing fur where he’d managed to yank it off the fly paper a bit,” she continued. “They’re so delicate and he was stuck on so hard we weren’t sure we could get him off successfully.”

Just as in the cat’s case, the rescue turned to a freeing substance: butter!

“But we rubbed loads of spreadable olive butter around where he was stuck and managed to prise him off and he had a tiny bubble bath to remove the butter,” Ostler said.

Thanks to the power of butter, a cat and a bat are now free to live their lives and get into new and surprising troubles.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking