Last night, while I was updating about Hope, and Joey Phipps was debating a bar stool lawyer who argued that rolling the clock back at 2:00 AM meant he had another hour to drink, Anna Marie Gonzalez forwarded us a post about a kitten trapped in a storm drain 30 minutes away. The little one had been howling for two days nonstop, the local fire department had been unable to remove the drain cover, and it would be who knows how long before animal control could respond. From the post and Anna’s photos, the drain was deep and nasty and terrifying, and unless something was done and done tonight, the little one would perish, victim of a horrible, tortured death, alone and forgotten, among rubbish and rats. Ok, I may have inferred that last bit of drama, but the request was clear, “Could we help?”
I forwarded the text and post to Joey, prompted the finder for an address—always helpful—and agreed to stop by the location after work. Joey’s response, “Wanna go cut it open?” made me proud, but vandalism of public property at 2 AM in a town in which we have no political goodwill seemed like a poor idea. I countered that I’d swing by the site, put eyes on the situation and we’d go from there. Joey shrugged, “They say we’re Batman and Robin, but it’s more like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.” Facts.
Since the drain cover had resisted firemen, I figured it was welded shut, but upon arrival, I discovered it was movable for anyone with a crowbar and ambition. I levered the cover aside and saw the drain was indeed deep and nasty, with a 2×4 set up with some cornbread as a lame attempt at a baited escape path. Really? Pro tip: wrap it in carpet or fabric. The kitten was nowhere to be seen or heard, but there was no chance it was scaling that 2×4 for TikiCat, much less sketchy cornbread. I texted Joey with the report, and he agreed to swing by later with a trap.
At 7 AM this morning, I contacted Anna, told her we had set a trap and asked her to go by for a look. Twenty minutes later, she reported she couldn’t move the cover but sent audio of the little one howling and concluded that it was likely in the trap. Thirty minutes later, I pulled up onsite, shoved cover aside and was rewarded with the sight of a little gray and white kitten secured below. I hauled the furry prize up for inspection—healthy and handsome!
After photos and thank yous, I brought Gibson, named for the winery across the street, back to our facility and set him up in a kennel to decompress. He’s still skeptical of the help but appears to like unlimited wet food and a warm towel to snuggle. It was an anti-climatic end to late-night drama but it’s another kitten saved, and we’ve freed up the fire department to leave the heavy lifting of cat rescue to us. Gibson.