A Waikanae Beach cat trapped in a drain for five weeks has been found thanks to the nose of a large Japanese Akita dog and its vigilant owner.
Kowhai, 3, a shy domestic short haired cat belonging to Philippa Kingdon vanished from her Freyberg Crescent address on July 29.
After five weeks Philippa feared the worst when searches of the neighbourhood, flyer distribution [courtesy of Artel Gallery], social media alerts and lost pet website advisories proved fruitless.
But a woman who lives a few blocks away kept noticing her Japanese Akita dog called Scooby was always stopping to take a very keen sniff interest in a stormwater drain in Rutherford Drive.
And then on Saturday the dog was doing the same thing when a meow was heard coming from the drain.
The woman came back with a torch and together with a woman who lives nearby looked into the drain and saw a cat.
SPCA was soon on the scene and a towel was lowered into the drain but the cat wouldn't climb up.
It was agreed they would try again in the morning when a drainage expert could assist.
The next day the woman who lives nearby lowered a trampoline ladder into the drain and Kowhai managed to climb out.
Later in the morning the SPCA called Philippa to say Kowhai, who was microchipped, had been found.
"I cried because I thought I would never see her again."
Kowhai was taken to a vet on Monday where a checkup concluded although Kowhai had lost quite a bit of weight but was in surprisingly good health.
"They said she would have had access to water and maybe the odd mouse..."
Kowhai has settled back into home life well.
"The first day home she didn't want to leave my side and wanted to constantly graze on food and sleep."
Philippa thanked Scooby, whose inquisitive interest proved so vital, and everyone else involved.