Surprised firefighters found a cat stowed away in their fire engine after driving to an incident in Radcliffe, Bury, Greater Manchester. Officer Pat Knowles, 28, opened the pump locker to clean his boots after the crew attended an incident. The crew had left the Eccles station on Thursday to carry out safety checks on a building site after a fire the night before.
The officers worked at the scene for three hours before opening the pump locker and seeing the scared stowaway.
Pat thinks the cat might have been in the fire engine all night. He said: “It was a shock and a surprise when I opened the locker and saw the cat - I thought it was a practical joke at first. But it looked pretty terrified.
We had been down some bumpy roads on the way to the incident and it was crouched in the corner of the locker - it was hard to spot at first.
“Maybe it climbed in last night when the night crew were filling up with water.”
Crew manager Baz Hulme, 40, decided to take the cat back to Eccles and call the RSPCA. He said: “When Pat told me ‘there’s a pussy in the locker’ I thought it was a wind up but then I saw it.
We had a dilemma because we didn’t know if it had climbed in at Radcliffe or had been in there since we left Eccles. It’s possible that it climbed in via the suspension or snuck in the night before when the pump locker was opened for a training exercise.
“There was no collar so we took it back to the station, offered it a saucer of milk and called the RSPCA.”
In an attempt to find the owner of the furtive feline, the officers posted a photo on Facebook.
The cat was pictured in the back of the engine with a saucer of milk that kind officers had provided.
The fire service now believe they have found the cat’s owner. It is currently in the care of the RSPCA, and isn’t thought to have been hurt during the ordeal.