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Snowflake the cat's all white now after spending weekend stuck up chimney

By Angela Rainey

Published 03/03/2016

Patrick Hall after rescuing Snowflake from the chimney
Patrick Hall after rescuing Snowflake from the chimney
Cherie Corr with Snowflake and her son Harry Murray

Snowflake the cat may have used up some of her nine lives while stuck up a chimney for two days.

The family pet gave owner Cherie Corr a fright when she became trapped last weekend.

Miss Corr (22) was in bed when she heard a strange noise at around 9.30am on Friday.

"I heard a bang from the attic," said the mother-of-one.

"I just thought she was in the attic where I have some baby stuff. I thought she had knocked something over. But then I went to have a look and could see she had got through a hole and I could hear she had fallen down the wall and was stuck."

Panicking, Miss Corr, who is due to give birth in April, rang the USPCA and the Fire Service, but neither could help.

"You could hear Snowflake was stuck, she was purring and scratching but I couldn't reach her because she was trapped in the chimney.

"I was so worried, I could've ended up in premature labour."

Snowflake remained stuck and Miss Corr had a sleepless night worried that her cat, which will be two years old in August, might not survive.

"It was awful because you think the worst," said Miss Corr.

"I was thinking, what if she's injured or hurt? My neighbour Patrick Hall tried to help.

"He was in the attic for three hours but he said he wouldn't leave until he got her out and he tried everything."

Mr Hall tried to lure the cat with treats, as well as trying to fish Snowflake out, but it was no good.

He even lowered a play mouse on a rod, only to find she had taken the toy off to play with.

The news spread across Facebook, galvanising support and offers of help on the Rockmore Residents' Collective site, before Miss Corr rang the Fire Service a third time. And although a crew arrived, Snowflake was finally freed by a brush shaft thanks to Mr Hall.

Snowflake's weekend ordeal ended at 6.30pm on Sunday .

"She must have heard the Fire Brigade," said Miss Corr. "She finally jumped out of the chimney.

"I was so worried that I had said to the firemen to just do whatever it takes to get her out, even it meant knocking down walls.

"When she came out her eyes were pure red and her fur was grey, after that she jumped straight on to Patrick's knee.

"It's like she knew he had saved her and it was her way of saying thanks.

"I'm really thankful for all the people that helped, from Patrick to the Rockmore Residents' Collective. I don't know what I would have done if she was still stuck there."

Snowflake is now recovering from her ordeal with plenty of treats, cuddles and a warm bed. Though Miss Corr says she may have to wash the cat to restore its fur back to fluffy white.

She added that the hole in the loft, which was originally a few inches wide but expanded to a few feet, is now blocked.

"It was a scary experience - there's no way she's doing that again," said Miss Corr.

Belfast Telegraph

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