On the morning of their 22nd birthday, twins Sabrina and Victoria received the best present they could ask for.
The twin sisters’ cat Cheeto had been missing for three weeks when RSPCA South Australia’s rescue team pulled him out of the kitchen exhaust hood of a neighbouring property in Seaton last Friday.
“That morning I actually said to Victoria that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was for Cheeto to come home – and an hour later RSPCA was at our door with the news,” Sabrina tells us.
RSPCA rescue officers rush to save cat from a rather odd place…
It was a standard day for rescue officers Soraya and Dave when they got the call about a kitten trapped in an exhaust hood at a Seaton property.
“Unfortunately cases like these are particularly common during kitten season,” Rescue Officer Soraya says.
But when they arrived at the scene and heard Cheeto’s meows, they quickly realised it was a friendly adult.
“It was a desperate meow – almost like a ‘get me out of here!’” Rescue Officer Soraya says.
Eager to escape his predicament, Cheeto poked his head out of the exhaust fan while Rescue Officer Dave dismantled the grease filter he was trapped behind.
The affectionate two-year-old tabby was dehydrated with some mucous around his nostrils, but his otherwise good health meant there was no way he had been trapped in the exhaust for the whole three weeks he’d been gone.
When Cheeto first went missing, Sabrina and Victoria stayed optimistic. Their adventurous cat was known for exploring – and they hoped to get good news from the 80 flyers they’d displayed across the neighbourhood.
“We knew he was out there somewhere, we just didn’t know where,” Sabrina says.
But after weeks of waiting, the twin sisters finally lost hope of seeing their gingertabby again.
“The day before RSPCA came, he had been gone so long that we actually threw out his bed,” Sabrina tells us.
The best-ever birthday present for twins Sabrina and Victoria
It was as if Cheeto knew it was the girls’ birthday and had been waiting for a dramatic reunion.
When RSPCA South Australia rescue officers Dave and Soraya knocked at their door with the news, Sabrina says she and her sister were so happy that they cried a little.
“We were both so surprised and shocked that we just ran to the neighbours’ house to see him without even putting our shoes on. I was still in my pyjamas!”
Having made a speedy recovery over the past few days, Cheeto has been enjoying plenty of rest but is still as affectionate as ever.
Rescue Officer Soraya says, “What led him into the roof space and down the exhaust in the first place – and where he was for the other time he was missing – still remains a mystery!”
Did you know our dedicated rescue team is entirely funded by community donations? It’s only thanks to our supporters that we can keep our Animal Ambulances on the road, and be there when animals need us most. Learn more here.