The fire brigade were called to the rescue of four one-day-old kittens who got stuck down a drain in Essex.
The RSPCA assisted the rescue of three black and white kittens, and one tabby, on Wednesday morning in St John’s Avenue in Braintree.
It is thought the mum gave birth to the three of them moments before they fell down a four inch hole around a water pipe in the kitchen.
After about half an hour of being called, the fire service managed to free the kittens and the RSPCA were on the scene to check on the animals' welfare.
The pets have since been cared for by a vet and are said to be doing well.
RSPCA inspector Caroline Richardson said:
"Another half an hour, and I think they would have died. They were just too young to survive such conditions," she added.