A search is underway to find the owner of a “miracle” black-and-white cat found between the cushions of a sofa by crews at the Chalvey waste and recycling centre.

The sofa was taken to the White Hart Road site on Friday and was being prepared before being broken up today (Wednesday) when the little cat jumped free.

The cat was given some water, with staff saying it looked “very hungry and thirsty”.

It has now been taken to a veterinary surgery for a check-up and staff are looking to reunite it with its owner.

Thomas McGrory, waste & environment technical officer, said a crew member was using large machinery in one of the transfer sheds when the cat poked its head up out of the cushions and jumped up over the shovel of the vehicle.

He said: “It was lucky to have survived that and then the driver got out and went to find where it had gone.

“It had been living in the sofa since it was brought to the recycling centre on Friday. It's a miracle it survived as each day tonnes of waste is taken to be incinerated.

“The cat seemed to be in good condition but was obviously frightened, hungry and very thirsty.

“Let’s hope the owner sees this and we can reunite them.”

If anyone knows who the owner is, contact 01753 875026.