Volunteer firefighters in Paihia, New Zealand, turned Animal Rescue crew when they were called out to free a cat stuck in a washing machine.
A resident raised the alarm just before midnight on Tuesday when her cat got its paw stuck and was unable to free itself. Fearing it would be stuck all night she called the fire brigade, but she didn't expect the fire communications centre in Auckland to send two fire engines.
Station officer Michael Fayne said the cat owner was "a bit astounded" to see four firefighters appear at her doorstep armed with boltcutters, hacksaws and tool boxes - and even more surprised when six more followed moments later.
The cat had one claw stuck in the washing machine lid near the hinges.
The rescue was straightforward and did not require saws or cutters.
All it took was a little help from one of the volunteer firefighters, who said freeing the cat was a case of "being cruel to be kind".
The cat, an 11-year-old British shorthair, did not hang around to say thanks but ran off. The owner, who did not want to be named, said the volunteers "did a fantastic job".
The cat re-appeared at around noon on Wednesday, limping slightly but otherwise apparently unharmed.
Mr Fayne said the call-out drew a good response from the volunteers.