Belfast Telegraph

Video: Cat stuck in wall cavity - Northern Ireland engineer brings house down to rescue it

By Brett Campbell

A man who started demolishing his partly-built house when "the walls started meowing" has safely returned stricken feline Francee to her owner.

Campbell Baird (46) was left baffled on Tuesday evening when he went to check on the building work at the site of the new-build on Woodburn Road in Carrickfergus.

"I could hear the walls meowing and I couldn't understand how," he said.

"There's no stairs yet, but there's a set of ladders to get to the first floor - I knew whatever it was, it had to have got in there from upstairs."

JS Design and Build owner Jordan Neill was on-site earlier in the day and was also puzzled by the noises.

"I kept hearing meows and I was going over to where it was coming from," he explained.

"Eventually I decided it must be a bird's nest and thought nothing more about it."

Campbell, a fire extinguisher engineer, consulted with his girlfriend Slavka Smith, who informed him that cats can climb ladders.

"I went on YouTube and right enough, they can," he said.

"Once I realised the cat had fallen into the cavity between the walls, I went and got a drill, chisel and hammer, I was happy to do it.

Relieved cat Francee squeezes herself out through the gap Campbell made in the wall of his new-build home
Relieved cat Francee squeezes herself out through the gap Campbell made in the wall of his new-build home
Relieved cat Francee squeezes herself out through the gap Campbell made in the wall of his new-build home
Relieved cat Francee squeezes herself out through the gap Campbell made in the wall of his new-build home

"It didn't cause too much damage, I just knocked a few bricks out."

After successfully chipping away at the brick work to make a hole big enough for 10-year-old Francee to escape, Mr Baird, (right) took to social media to help track down the owner.

He posted on Facebook to astonished friends: "Just spent the last hour knocking holes in my wall to get it out.

"Think its front leg is broken. Not looking any damages repaired, just glad to get her out."

Luckily, Francee escaped unharmed and two hours later she was safely returned home - with a tail to tell.

"I didn't want anyone to feel nervous about coming forward, the builder has agreed to fix it without charge," he said.

Francee's grateful owner, who did not want to be named, explained that his beloved pet suffers from nerve damage from a previous injury.

"Francee is a rescue cat from Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary," he said.

"I'm very thankful to get her back home.

"She was a bit scared and slept in the bathroom on Tuesday night, but now she is back to her normal spot in the living room - she's fine now."

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