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A Reno, Nevada, landlord was inspecting his rental home when he heard tiny mews coming from somewhere inside.

The landlord contacted Washoe County Regional Animal Services for help. After searching the house, animal control officers determined that the desperate cries were coming from the chimney, but when they were unable to rescue the trapped kitten, they called the fire department for assistance.

Firefighters broke the chimney wall to reach the trapped feline and found that an abundance of ash was holding a tiny kitten in place. They removed the ash and the terrified cat fled and ran under the house.

The animal control officers (ACOs) set a humane trap in hopes that the kitten would be tempted by the food within.

The next morning, three days after the landlord reported the noise, the cat was the cage and ready to be rescued. The ACOs took the kitten to Washoe County Regional Animal Services, where she was named Ashley in honor of the ordeal she survived.

When Ashley came in, she was covered in soot, cold, and very hungry,” said Cat Care Manager Vonice Reed. “Animal Services staff gave her a warm bath and a meal and she perked right up. She is a bit timid, but loves to cuddle.”

When the three-month-old kitten arrived at the shelter, she was covered in soot and the staff couldn’t even determine what kind of cat she might be. But after several washes, her gray tabby and white markings were revealed.

Now Ashley is recovering well at the Nevada Humane Society. She has been spayed, vaccinated and microchipped, and now she’s ready for adoption — preferably to a home without an easy-access chimney.

[Sources: Daily Mail and the Nevada Humane Society]