A NORTHWICH cat owner has told of the moment her beloved feline was rescued by firefighters after being trapped down a 20 foot storm drain for three days.

Fifi Bennett, who lives in Winnington with her partner Richard Rowley, said she was beside herself with worry when Fandango, a Cosy Cats Rescue, who had just turned one, didn't return home on September 10.

She said: "She didn't come home that evening and at first I wasn't unduly worried, because she's a cat and they can sometimes do this.

"But I started to get really worried when she still hadn't come back the next morning.

"That was when Richard and I went out searching for her, but she was nowhere to be found."

The couple, who live in one of the new houses in the area, have a tall back fence at the bottom of their garden, which acts as a sound proofing barrier as more houses are planned to be built on the land to the rear soon.

"Part of the fencing had come down, which meant there was access to the field behind our house", she added.

"The field is mostly overgrown at the moment, with plenty of brambles covering the ground.

"My other cat Pumpkin led me to an area on the field.

"She had her tail all fluffed up and it was like she was trying to tell me 'my sister's here, can you not find her?'

Northwich Guardian:

Sisters Fandango and Pumpkin are both rescue kittens.

"But we couldn't find her anywhere."

A couple of days later, the couple were feeling frantic and anxious because they were due to go away for a week away on September 14, but after hearing running water from somewhere on the field, Fifi went out for one last look for her beloved pet.

She went on: "I could hear running water so I thought I'd go and investigate in case she had fallen down a muddy bank.

"It was about 10pm (on September 13) but I'd been crying and wanted to give it one last push before we went away.

"I was just following the sound of water, calling her and shining my torch and I just heard this really loud, magnified meowing.

"It was that loud my partner could hear it from across the field and he came running over.

"You would never have seen this hole, because it was covered in brambles and nettles, but there she was, perched right on top of the broken manhole at the bottom of this hole.

"We were a but sheepish about whether we should call the fire service, but after speaking with our vet he told us that's what we should do.

"They (Cheshire Fire Service) were here within ten minutes, flashing lights and everything. It was all very dramatic.

"The next thing there were six fire fighters, setting up ladders, spotlights and all kinds.

Northwich Guardian:

Cheshire Fire Service rescued Fandango from the storm drain.

"They were just good with us and they kept us very calm.

"It was like it was a person trapped down there, they knew was part of our family and they were just brilliant."

The firefighters lowered a pet carrier down the hole by a rope and with the temptation of rescue and some cat food inside it, Fandango eventually crept inside and was pulled up to the surface.

Fifi said: "It's kind of scary because we were going away for a week and she would have died down there.

"We took her straight to the vets and she was kept in for two nights because she had a high fever and wasn't eating.

"We had to cancel our trip away but luckily for us the B&B were very understanding and they've let us postpone it for another time.

"I'd just like to say thank you to everyone at Cheshire Fire Service for all of their help and understanding."

As a way of saying thanks, Fifi took the heroic firefighters a cat themed cat and hopes the unintended adventures of Fandango take on a far less stressful route in the future.

Northwich Guardian:

Fandango has hopefully learnt her lesson.