This cat must have nine lives!
Byline: IAN JOHNSON email@example.com @Ian_JohnsonGaz
IT involved everything from posting food through a letterbox to getting keys posted up from Essex.
But after almost a week of trying to rescue a cat from a wrecked property, Sooty the cat has been saved. RSPCA inspector Clare Wilson got a call last weekend saying a cat had been spotted at a Craven Street property, in Middlesbrough.
After turning up on Saturday November 4, she spotted the cat in the window but couldn't get inside.
Wet food was posted through the letterbox every day so it wouldn't starve while attempts were made to contact the owner of the property, which had been vandalised.
Eventually the owner was traced to Essex and a key was sent up - but the drama was only just beginning.
When Inspector Wilson finally got inside on Wednesday, the cat immediately scattered.
Despite shining a torch throughout the fire-damaged property, the black cat was nowhere to be seen.
She set a cat trap and went back the following day but the food in the trap hadn't been touched.
Inspector Wilson then attended with three colleagues on her day off on Friday but there was still no cat.
The four RSPCA officers did a full search of the house and finally a pair of eyes were spotted under the floor.
Inspector Wilson put her net over the hole and when the officers banged a bit, the cat ran into the net.
"I couldn't have enjoyed my time off if I had not caught the cat and I had the biggest smile on my face when I finally had her in my net!" she said.
The cat was taken to the vets and seems fine, albeit underweight and very dirty - so much so that the "friendly young female" has even landed the name Sooty.
But with no microchip or collar, it will be kept in care until she's a healthy weight and has a new home.
And Inspector Wilson added: "The best part of my job is getting a happy ending after I have put so much effort into rescuing an animal and Sooty seems like a lovely cat.
"I'm sure she will get snapped up when she is put up for rehoming."
RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson with Sooty the cat