A pair of four-week-old kittens were rescued after they fell down a drain in Waltham Abbey.

Essex Fire and Rescue service was called into action to save the stranded kittens on Sunday, May 30.

Station manager Toby Ingham, from Essex Fire’s emergency planning team, worked alongside Enfield-based cat rescue centre, Scratching Post Cat Rescue, to help the cats that had fallen down a drain into a complex system of pipes in Galleyhill Road.

Toby used specialist equipment including a thermal imaging camera to establish the exact location of the kittens.

Although they could not reach the kittens using the equipment they had, Toby and the cat rescue team set up two small traps with food near the ends of the pipes.

Overnight, the curious cats sniffed out the food and were found soggy but safe and well in the traps first thing the next morning.

"Toby was amazing and the smile the mummy cat gave when she was reunited with her kittens was lovely,” said Susan Lewis Hall from Scratching Post Cat Rescue.

“They had crawled a long way and Toby was able to tell us whereabouts they were. It was awful knowing the pipes went all over a large site and all connected they could have gone anywhere, it's a miracle we got them and we'd like to thank Toby for his role in their rescue."

Toby Ingham said: "It was a different experience working alongside the Waltham Abbey cat rescuers and it's nice to know that the kittens are safe. Together we formed a response plan that was kitten-focussed and managed to confirm proof-of-life and exact-location by utilising Essex fire equipment. A safe-system-of-work was put in place and happily the kittens managed to find their way out."

The two kittens currently have no names but Susan and her colleagues at Scratching Post Cat Rescue plan to call one Toby.