THE last thing Lindsay Rogers expected when he opened his front-loader washing machine was the mournful “meow” of his bedraggled and seriously dizzy four-month-old kitten, Kimba.
Mr Rogers, of Manly Vale, was loading the washing machine when Kimba decided to sneak inside and snuggle into the dirty clothes while his back was turned, but the machine’s door was open.
Suspecting nothing, Mr Rogers turned around, closed the door, started the machine and walked away.
“I put the clothes in, put the powder and the fabric softener in, put it on a cold wash - which was very lucky - and put it on for a 30-minute cycle,” he said.
“When I opened the door, it just went ‘meow’ and stuck its head out.
“I couldn’t believe it - the spin cycle at the end goes really fast and I couldn’t believe it survived.”
While most people he has told the story to have had a bit of a laugh, Mr Rogers said Kimba was seriously unwell with very sore eyes from the soap and he wasn’t sure how she would fare.
He rushed the little persian kitten to Allambie Vet, whose staff immediately put her on an intravenous drip.
Head nurse Natalie Macdonald said without intervention Kimba would have certainly died.
“She was very flat and wet, very recumbent and lying on her side and not very responsive,” Ms Macdonald said.
“The first thing they did was get some vitals, place her on an IV (intravenous therapy) and administer fluids.
“She was suffering from shock and hypothermia and they put her on a heat mat and dried her until her body temperature slowly returned to normal.”
Amazingly, after just a couple of hours, Kimba was stable and “purring like a little motor”, according to Mr Rogers.
But the vet had serious concerns for her eyes, which were inflamed and ulcerated from the soap, and eye ointments, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics were introduced immediately.
Two weeks later Kimba was back to normal, with no long-term problems.
When Kimba’s other owner, Margaret Rogers, returned from overseas she said she was in “shock-horror” when she heard what had happened.
“I couldn’t believe what I was being told, but she is fine and is certainly a lucky little cat,” she said.
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