Chica, a 5-month-old guinea pig, has spat in the face of death, surviving more than four hours in a tumble dryer.
The New Plymouth rodent's brush with the Kelvinator began when Chica somehow found herself in the folds of a fitted bedsheet, hanging on the clothesline near her pen.
Chica's owner, Marilyn Jones, then collected the sheets and shoved them in her dryer for 30 minutes to get rid of any damp.
"It was pretty hot in there," Jones said. "I thought I better go and turn it off because I could smell it. You know, that hot sheet smell. I don't know how she survived."
Because even when her world stopped spinning, Chica's fight for life was not over. The fluffed-up furball stayed in the dryer with the sheets another four hours before finally being freed during a bed-making spell in the half-time break of the All Blacks' Australia test.
"My brother was making his bed and she fell out of the sheet. He said he either had a guinea pig or a rat in his bedroom and I came in and there was Chica under the bed," Jones said.
Apart from a slightly increased level of guinea quiver and a delightfully soft coat, the South American pig appears to have come through unharmed. As have the sheets.
Despite owning six guinea pigs, a dog, numerous fish, a singing tree frog and an axolotl called Alex, Jones said this was her first animal-appliance incident.
The tale of survival is similar to that of a Gisborne cat called Possum which survived a 55-minute cycle in a washing machine earlier this month.
- © Fairfax NZ News