I took the photo that I was after and made my way back.
A scrabbling noise funneled up from one of the chimney openings. Stopping to listen, I imagined that it must be a large lizard that had lost it's grip as it was silent again.
Later, at lunch time, as I opened a can of tuna in the kitchen ( I had not been to do the shopping yet) , a plaintive cry came from a room in the distance. Again, it seemed to be the sound of a cat. I opened the door to the living room and was just in time to see two grey legs and a tail shoot into the fireplace and disappear up the chimney.
Remembering the episode on my return from last summer's holiday, when I found the window edging gnawed and a dead squirrel under a blanket on the sofa in our living room in Luxembourg, I decided to take no chances and left the door wide open for the cat to exit into the garden.
An hour passed and there was no sign of the cat. I took a broom into the opening of the fireplace and pushed it into the deep ledge inside. "Hiss, hiss , spit." It was definitely still there and I couldn't brush it out.
I tried coaxing this time, leaving the empty tuna can in the fireplace. It came down while I was out of the room but shot in again to hide itself when it saw me. A trail of pasta dipped in tuna oil leading to the garden did the trick, so as soon as the kitten was safely outside I closed the door.
Meowing pitifully, the kitten called its mother, terrified that I would hurt it. It finally left our gardens jumping down off a wall into the property below.