An angry cat was saved by a lifeboat crew after it became trapped by rising water on the Thames, but not before it put up a fight against its rescuers.
The crew had spotted the black cat in distress on the rapidly diminishing patch of shingle next to a six metre-high river wall, so launched a boat to save it.
Unlike dogs the crew have saved, which are normally glad to see humans, the black cat struggled against its rescuers — hissing and snarling before trying to scale the sheer wall.
The cat then wriggled out of the clutches of RNLI crewman Mark Pusey, jumping off his shoulders and trying to swim to freedom.
Mr Pusey waded after the cat, before eventually managing to wrap it in a blanket and take it ashore where it was released, and ran off down the road.
RNLI helmsman James Anthony said: “The RNLI crews often rescue animals in order to prevent their owners from putting themselves in harm���s way.
“On this occasion, we were just in time. The little strip of foreshore was completely covered by the rapidly rising tide by the time the cat was brought ashore.”
Mr Pusey said: “This incident had a good outcome but does show how easily the fast-flowing tides can turn a benign environment into a very dangerous one.
“If you see a person, or an animal, in trouble in the water please call 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard. The RNLI lifeboats on the Thames can be at any incident in minutes.”
Throughout 2019, RNLI volunteer crews were launched to help animals including 158 dogs, two horses, three deer, two cows, one cat, three sheep and four whales.