A "VERY relieved" cat was released from a chimney by firefighters in North Littleton after going missing four days ago.

The grey and white feline, which had been missing since Thursday, was rescued just after 1pm today (Monday) by a fire crew from Pebworth, along with specialist teams from Droitwich and Worcester.

The emergency services were alerted after the cat's owner happened to hear its cries of distress from inside the brick chimney at the two-storey home.

It is possible the animal - which is known to sometimes climb onto the roof - had been in the chimney for days, however it is unclear exactly how long it was trapped.

Chris Jelfs was part of the Droitwich Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team which bored a small hole in the structure to free the cat.

After first attempting to retrieve the pet from the top of the chimney, the team had to employ technical skills to locate the cat and eventually free it.

Mr Jelfs said the cat was "very relieved to see us" and seemed unhurt when it was released.

"We cored a hole into the actual chimney and the cat's paw shot out from the hole as if to say 'I'm here!'," explained Mr Jelfs.

He added: "We were able to bring the cat out through the hole. It seemed fine, happy to be reunited with its owner.

"They knew it had been missing but just happened to here the cat crying in distress. That is when he realised it might have got into the chimney.

"It was nice to have a successful outcome."

The Droitwich crew used USAR search cameras, coring and breaching tools to rescue the pet, while the aerial platform from Worcester was also in use to access the top of the ten-metre high building.