IT’S not every day you come across a cat swimming with the ducks and being chased by swans.

But that is exactly what happened to Mark Orchard and his little dog Monty last week.

Mark was walking along the Wichelstowe canal near his home when he spotted little Milly, a one-year-old Bengal cat, frantically swimming from one side of the canal to the other, trying to escape from the swans.

He phoned Drove Vets and staff armed with a humane animal catcher, cat basket and other equipment rushed to help.

But in the meantime, Mark had managed to hook Monty’s lead around the cat and hoist her to safety.

Jane Carter, who works at the practice, said: “Goodness knows how he managed to keep hold of the shivering cat, but he did, and she was taken to the veterinary hospital where she recovered.

“Her temperature was low and she was shivering violently so we put her in an incubator. “She was one very lucky cat indeed, thanks to a very kind Mr Orchard, and, of course, with a little bit of help from Monty.”

Fortunately, Milly had a microchip which enabled the vets to contact her relieved owner Nathalie Smith, of Mattocks Path in Wichelstowe.

She said: “Milly seems to like the water – I think she has ended up in the canal once before because she turned up on our doorstep soaking wet and covered in mud, so she must have been able to get herself out that time.

“Even if you leave some water in the bath or sink, she gets in and starts splashing around. It is very strange.

“When I got the voicemail from the vets saying what had happened, I just thought ‘what a stupid cat’. But when I went to pick her up and they told me everything that had happened I realised how serious it actually was and how lucky she was.

“I just want to say a massive thank you to Mark – I got his details and went and thanked him with a box of chocolates.

“We are in a day and age when you hear so many bad things and people doing bad things to other people, so it is lovely that this man stopped and helped my cat out of the canal.”