CURIOSITY caught the cat – and sparked a rescue drama after a kitten got its head stuck in a small hole.

Spock, a 15-week-old tabby, narrowly avoided a live wire while pinned into the tight space at the back of a kitchen cupboard.

The alarm was raised by six-year-old Thomas Shiels, who thought his beloved kitten had become stuck in the dishwasher at the family home in Birkenhills Drive, Deane.

His mum Heather said: "I went downstairs and could hear miaowing. It sounded like it was coming from the dishwasher which was running at the time. I thought he was trapped inside and I was really worried.

"I opened the cupboard next to it and realised he was in there. I could only see his back end as his head was stuck in a small hole where the plug for the dishwasher goes."

Spock — so-called due to his pointy ears — had become wedged in a space about two or three inches wide.

Mrs Shiels and her husband Paul set to work trying to free Spock.

"We tried to pull him out really gently and tried taking the bottom of the cupboard out to get access from there but nothing was working," said Mrs Shiels.

Spock became so distressed that the couple decided to call the RSPCA.

Inspector Angela Paxton-Taylor made several attempts to free the kitten by applying cooking oil and margarine to his neck but Spock would not budge, prompting an emergency call to the fire brigade.

Firefighters used an electric saw and drill to carefully cut through the cupboard in an effort to free the cat.

They also switched off the power to stop supply to a live wire which was located at the back of the cupboard.

Mrs Shiels, a secretary in Bolton, said: "The fire crew arrived really quickly but it took them a good hour to safely cut Spock free.

“They said they had never seen anything like this before.”

Spock went for a check-up at a veterinary clinic after the incident at about 7.15pm on Wednesday, September 19.

He was given painkillers for a sore neck but suffered no further injury. A week later, he is back to his normal self.

Mrs Shiels said: "I think he’s definitely used up one of his nine lives.

“He’s back to his normal self now but he was feeling sorry for himself for a while."