Izzy the inquisitive hamster was recovering today after she went exploring the pipes in her home – and popped up in a neighbour’s PLUGHOLE.
Gill Bellshaw, 56, got the shock of her life as she was prepared for a relaxing soak only to be confronted by the rambling rodent.
Little Izzy had somehow escaped from her cage in a downstairs flat next door and negotiated several dozen metres of pipe before emerging in Gill’s bathtub.
Gill, a child-minder, said: “It was like something out of a comedy.
“I was going to have a nice bath before Britain’s Got Talent. I went into my bathroom, was just about to turn on my tap and there was a hamster in the bath.
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“I took one look at it, screamed and ran off. I was shouting ‘there’s a hamster in the bath’.”
Gill said husband, Alan, 63, did not believe her to start with because the hamster had disappeared when he went to check what all the fuss was about.
But then he spotted the equally terrified creature cowering beneath a bathroom unit.
Gill said: “It was hilarious really. My husband told me not to be so silly and he went to have a look, but there was no hamster. I thought I was imagining things.
“We then found it sitting in a corner. It must have been really scared. We blocked the door with a towel, and we sat there, thinking ‘what are we going to do?”
Once Gill, from East Lothian, Scotland, had closed the bathroom door and calmed down, she phoned a friend who came to the rescue and trapped the hamster in a cage.
She then posted an appeal to find Izzy’s rightful owner on Facebook and kept her overnight because nobody had claimed her.
But the next morning downstairs neighbour, Emma Peacock, 36, knocked on the door to say her daughter’s beloved pet had gone missing.
Emma said: “We keep her in our kitchen, and we have an open vent, so we think she climbed through there and then gone upstairs.
“We figured she escaped through the vent or through the boiler. It’s the only way possible.”
Izzy the hamster had somehow managed to clamber up the pipes to the first-floor flat from the ground floor of the next four-flat block.
Skye Collier, 14, third-year pupil at Ross High, was so delighted to be reunited with the little rogue that she renamed her pet Izzy as Bubbles in honour of the escapade.
She said: “She is a wee bit feisty and energetic. She won’t sit still and is constantly on the move.
“I have had her for six months and she has never done anything this before. I feel sorry for Gill because she panicked.”
Gill added: “I’ve calmed down and I can hold the hamster now. She’s quite a cute wee thing and we’re best friends. I’ve also made friends with neighbours who I never really knew at all.”