A cat called Cookie has proved she really does have nine lives after surviving a fall from Bedford Town Bridge into the river.
Shocked Cookie was spotted by a passer-by, who called the RSPCA.
An inspector from the charity joined a fire and rescue team to fish her out by boat.
“It was terrifying to see Cookie so close to the fast flowing water hanging on for her life,” said RSPCA Inspector Carrie O’Riordan.
The lucky feline has now been happily reunited with her owner – who lives five miles from the spot where she was rescued.
The drama began when cookie was spotted on Saturday afternoon strolling along the Town Bridge.
A member of the public bent down to stroke her and it is thought the cat panicked and fell into the water.
“She was dragged along by the current for a moment or two before she was able to scramble up on to the bottom section of the bridge. But then she was well and truly stuck,” said Carrie.
“The water rescue team from Bedford Fire and Rescue were absolutely amazing. They were able to bring out a boat and rescue Cookie from where she’d fallen beneath the bridge,” she added.
The cat was soaking wet and bedraggled, but physically unharmed. She even tucked into a bowl of food straight after the rescue.
Luckily she was microchipped, so the RSPCA workers were able to scan her and find her owner’s contact details immediately.
“The owner was overjoyed to have her back. It was great to see them both so happy, especially after Cookie’s shocking ordeal,” added Carrie.
“We are now encouraging everyone to make sure their cats are microchipped and registered with their current contact details,” she said.