Officer saves cat with head stuck in peanut butter jar

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A Riverside County Animal Services officer rescued a skinny cat that had got its head stuck inside a plastic peanut butter container.

Officer Carra Mathewson rushed to a home in the unincorporated community of Homeland in Riverside on Monday afternoon where she met with two concerned residents. One of the residents, Alyssa Cline, tried to use a pair of scissors on the thick container, but her scissors broke.

"The officer came in and saved the day," Cline said in a telephone interview. "She got here so fast and she got that jar off like it was nothing."

Ms. Cline, 23, said her nephew had initially spotted the cat near their property. "He told me, 'look at this silly cat - it's got its head stuck.' I'm definitely an animal lover, so I wanted to help. I didn't think it was cute. I need to get out and help that cat right away. I did not want the cat to die. I didn't think it could hang on much longer."

She and her nephew, Charlie Isaac Delarosa, managed to wrangle the cat and place it inside a crate in their garage of the home located on Ritter Avenue near McWade Avenue. That's when Alyssa Cline tried to use her scissors to no avail. But Officer Mathewson showed up with some heavier-duty equipment she keeps at the ready: a Leatherman, multi-tool device.

Officer Mathewson said she owed a lot to her two young helpers. "I knew the cat seemed to be a flighty type of cat," she said. A blanket was wrapped around the cat. The officer also handed a pair of welding gloves to Mr. Delarosa so he could hold the black cat still. The gloves would offer some protection, just in case the cat got feisty after the container was removed.

The officer snipped a few incisions on the generic, supermarket-brand peanut butter container. "Once I had enough room, I was able to get the container off without hurting the cat," she said. "Her eyes were huge. She seemed very scared."

Unfortunately, she said, the cat was also suffering from an infestation of maggots in both ears. She thanked her two humane hero friends and hurried back to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. Once there, veterinary technicians examined and treated the cat.

Employees have nicknamed the cat "Skippy." Once she fully recovers and, if an owner does not claim her, she will be placed up for adoption.

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