Curiosity killed the cat, they say. And the old adage almost came true for an 8-week-old kitten.
When Susan Gordon of Aberdeen, Scotland, pulled a load of wet laundry out of her washing machine, she was shocked to find her cat, Princess, clinging to a pair of jeans. The kitten’s nose was bleeding and her eyes were sore, but to Gordon’s relief, she was still breathing.
Gordon grabbed the soaking and shivering kitten, dried her with a towel, and rushed her to a local emergency veterinary clinic, where staff immediately set to work to save her life. They put Princess on oxygen therapy and diuretics to get the water out of her lungs and laid her on a heating pad to bring her body temperature back to normal. She received pain relief for her bruised and battered body and regular lubrication for her soap-damaged eyes.
A few days after her unfortunate adventure, Princess was clearly making a good recovery. She was purring, eating normally, and once again engaging in an endless array of cute kitten antics.
How Princess managed to survive 50 minutes of washing, rinsing and spinning is anybody’s guess.
As for how the kitten managed to find herself in such a dire predicament — Gordon figures the kitten climbed into the washer while her back was turned. She hadn’t seen Princess while she was loading the laundry into the machine, so she had no reason to believe the cat had made a nest in such a perilous place.
Princess’s story is a good reminder to all of us. Washing machines and dryers are some of the biggest hazards for kittens because of their curiosity and their instinctive drive to seek refuge in small, dark places.
Veterinarian Ann Wortley said, “Princess was very lucky to have survived her ordeal with no serious injuries.”
She’s absolutely right. Most stories like this do not have happy endings, but all it takes to prevent tragedy is the simple act of closing those washer and dryer doors when they’re not in use. And of course, please check for feline stowaways before turning on the washing machine!