Friday, June 12, 2015

Saving a Little Life--The Canal Kitten

A cat lover was called by a woman whose daughter lives near South Albany High School.  They were walking their dog last night when they saw two tiny kittens in the parking lot of the school.  They were able to catch one, a little tabby girl, barely four weeks old.  But her brother scooted into the blackberries and down the steep bank of the canal, right where it goes under the street. He vanished into a hole in the concrete bridge abutment.

She and her daughter were up half the night trying to coax him out.  It was a difficult and dangerous place he'd vanished into.  You would have to jump down about three feet from the concrete, just off the road, onto dirt and unstable rocks, on the bank of the canal.

While the canal is not deep, the water in it is swift.  I went over with another woman late this afternoon.  We could hear him crying way back in the concrete, and when I dug out a hole near the bottom of the concrete and cut blackberries away with my pocket knife, and tilted my head just right, while shining my light up into that hole, I could see him.  But I could not reach him.

We tried coaxing him out with fake cat cries. Then we tried digging at the hole to enlarge it some from the side, to no avail.  The other woman said I looked like a coal miner, dirt covering my face and clothing, when we finally gave up.  The hole in the concrete was crawling in all kinds of spiders, too.

But we came back later, just at dark, to go at it again. She brought her own cat, thinking she would cry if we got her down near the hole, in a carrier, and that would bring the little guy out.  But her cat, who had cried most of the way over, she said, was quiet as a mouse.

So we brought out the big guns---his sister, all 10 oz of her and she mewed like crazy, just like we'd hoped.  The other woman now was down on the bank, which is precarious, holding the girl kitten by the scruff.  Her brother almost came out, his cries so weak we knew if we didn't get him soon, he wouldn't make it.

We tried it again, and suddenly a hand appeared over the concrete with something in it and shoved the carrier open.  "Got him" she said, as she closed the carrier on him.  His sister's cries had brought him completely out of the hole and the woman grabbed him so fast she was a blur.

We were ecstatic!

I'm still happy over it, but also my back is twitching in spasms from being down that bank, clinging to it, cranking my neck to try to see up from the bottom hole, digging while in that precarious position, to open up the hole more.  Oh well. The back and shoulder pain is totally worth it.

Here he is, a little buff tabby tux, so darling.  I hear he's doing well, ate KMR and wet food and is settled in with his sister, who saved him.

I wonder what she said to him to make him come out.

Isn't he darling!  He and his sister are tiny, only about four weeks of age. 
This is the hole in the concrete.  He was way back in there.

Looking down from the cement slab he was inside of.  down at the base, which is about three feet down, is the hole.  He was back in it probably two feet.  To the right and down the bank is the canal.

There's the water, down that steep bank just below the concrete.
But we got him and he's safe.  I wonder where their mother is.


  1. Such a lucky boy. Thank you sooooo much for all your hard work and caring. I hope your body settles down quickly.

    1. It'll be o.k. (my bod) and still really happy over how the little guys' story turned out!

  2. The dear little lucky to be found..

  3. I knew as I began to read that there would be a happy ending. Well done both of you.

    1. I love happy endings too, Andrew. Thanks!

  4. His sister probably said "I'm gonna tell mom if you don't get your butt out of there RIGHT now!"

    1. Probably something like that!

  5. You are an angel - a kitty angel!
    Truly, your work inspires me. Loved the way you told this story, too - so well written!