Ooh Shelly, What a bummer! I feel for you and your poor cat.
All those rusted tools to deal with, and one has to wonder about the
internal mechanisms of your flexshaft. I’ll bet the tool docs can
offer some help besides just condolences. Have you used a
dehumidifier to take out residual moisture from clothing, floor
coverings, and furniture? It would be a good idea, or you may find
light rust appearing on your tools in the future.
On the hand tools, the easiest and most inexpensive treatment is
probably a soak in good 'ol Coke - the phosphoric acid does a good
job on cutting the rust. Check your progress in a couple hours and
be prepared to change the liquid if progress seems to have stopped.
The surfaces will still be rough, so you need to be ready to smooth
and polish any parts that contact your jewelry. Here’s a thought on
the polishing effort - a tumbler might do the job on pliers and
smaller parts. Best of luck on this task, Judy in Kansas