A CAT lost at least one of its nine lives after getting its head stuck in a car wheel.
The frightened Siamese had to endure an hour-long ordeal with firefighters using hydraulic cutting equipment as its head peeped through the small hole in the middle of the wheel.
Watch manager James Fawcett, from Bury St Edmunds fire station, where the rescue took place, estimated the cat might have been stuck in the tyre for a few hours before she was found.
Mr Fawcett said: “We have done a number of animal rescues over the years but this was a particularly strange circumstance.
“When we looked at it, we wondered how on earth the cat got stuck in that position and we even thought it might be foul play, but that is of course speculation.”
The cat was found at RAF Honington and firefighters were alerted by RSPCA officers. The cat and tyre were taken to Bury.
Mr Fawcett said: “We had no choice but to use hydraulic cutting equipment, like we would in road accidents, to cut the tyre.
“We had to balance freeing the cat without scaring it too much so we had one colleague who actually had to hold the cat in place. The cat was fine afterwards, although his skin was a bit raw around his neck.”
The stray Siamese, since christened Casper, was checked over by a vet.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The cat was very lucky to be rescued and it's great that we were contacted about him. He is absolutely fine now. He's staying with one of our officers until an owner can be found.”