Charlie the cat took cavity wall insulation a step too far when he buried himself inside the wall of his owner’s new home.
Perhaps “Macavity” would have been a better name for the ginger and white three-year-old who had to be rescued by firefighters when he refused to come out for food after spending two weeks in the kitchen wall of owner Emma Thorpe’s home in Waterbarn Street.
Macavity is the name of a cat from a poem by T.S. Eliot and a character in the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical.
But Emma (27) believes Charlie may have had more than music and poetry on his mind when he secreted himself inside the wall, because he was being bullied – by her other pet cat Declan.
“I only bought the two cats a few weeks ago, but Charlie almost immediately got inside the wall. Declan is a bigger cat and chases Charlie around the house. I think he bullies him.
“There was a gap underneath the sink and Charlie must have got in through there. He would go in and come out for food, and was in for about two weeks. I only started worrying when he stopped coming out for food. I rang the RSPCA and they came out with firefighters to free him. He’s covered in dust and has lost a bit of weight but other than that he’s okay.”
Emma, who moved to Burnley from Yorkshire six months ago, bought the cats from an internet site to keep her company.
Crew manager Anthony Harrison said: “We could hear Charlie but couldn’t see him. We removed a brick from the bottom of the wall and then used breaking-in tools to remove an air vent, which allowed us access to Charlie.”
Emma said she has now boarded up the gap below the sink to stop Charlie returning to his hiding place – although he has now found another spot.
She added: “Charlie is very timid still and has taken to hiding behind the couch. I don’t mind that so much because at least I can see him now.
“I will have to keep him away from Declan in the future. But I also have a rabbit called Honey who scares them both!”