We were called on a Friday evening recently for an emergency rescue of a cat that was stuck behind the electric hot water system.
The cat had climbed on top of the hot water unit. Then it fell down the back corner and wedged itself right down the bottom. The cat had been stuck in this position for well over six hours. When the owner initially returned home from work they came outside and heard the cat meow but thought the cat was in the next-door neighbour’s yard. Then roughly 3 hours later they came outside to feed it dinner. They heard it meowing again but it wouldn’t come for its food. They had a shock when they found where it was.
The owner contacted RSPCA rescue and had them attend to the property and they were unable to remove it. They even called the Fire Brigade to come out to see if they could assist. The firefighters told the owner that they would need to contact a plumber to remove the hot water system to allow access to free the cat.
The Brisbane Plumbers – Hot Water System Experts & Pet Rescuers
That’s when we received the call to come out to assist with the rescue. At The Brisbane Plumbers, our team are industry leaders for plumbing hot water systems. But we do not have training in animal rescue. When we arrived on site you could hear that the cat was in quite a bit of distress. It was making a lot of noise and breathing heavily.
The hot water system was a large 250L system and we had to drain the majority of the tank in order to move it. But a 250-litre hot water unit takes a long time to drain down. So during that time, I spoke to Joe the animal rescuer from RSPCA. She was telling me about some of the jobs that she had been to the four months since starting the job. It was quite an insight into the animals that they rescue and the lengths they go to save these animals. They have guts to rescue some of the possums and the feral cats. Often wearing welders’ gloves and using big blankets to wrap them up so they don’t get major cuts to themselves.
Completing the Work
We isolated the hot water unit and disconnected all the pipework into position to free the cat. I used a strap around my body and pull the hot water unit out from the wall. At which point, Joe was able to get in there and grab the cat. The cat walked out as if it had been asleep for a couple of hours and was completely fine. It certainly used up one of its nine lives that’s for sure. We reconnected the hot water system filled it back up and tested it to ensure it was working correctly.
This was the second animal that we have rescued now while running the company The Brisbane Plumbers. It was quite surreal because two years ago, we had rescued a puppy on the same drive. But don’t fear. Our details have been given to the RSPCA rescue now. So when they need a hand again in the future, for any pets stuck in or around plumbing, they will touch base and we will come to the rescue.