Storm pipes can seem like a safe place to an expectant female cat looking for a place to give birth, but when heavy rains come they become full of dangers. This spring a rescue organization in Los Angeles, CA was contacted about a cat in a drain pipe. The rescue soon discovered that the situation would take ingenuity, patience, and a lot of hard work.
According to The Dodo, when Hope For Paws founder Eldad Hagar got to the drain pipe, he discovered that the situation was complicated. The drain pipe was long and had lots of debris scattered throughout. Plus, it wasn’t just one cat stuck in the pipe – it was a mama cat and her kittens! Eldad evaluated the situation and decided to return the next day with additional rescuers and supplies.
Eldad returned with fellow rescuers Loreta Frakonyte, Lisa Arturo, JoAnn Wilitz, and Kyle Schwab. In addition, they brought a remote control car, a flashlight, supplies to make a pole, blankets, and a cat cage. Kyle normally rescues dogs through Smashface Rescue, but was game to help this feline family in need.
Eldad told The Dodo that he had previously seen another rescuer use a remote controlled car when rescuing cats. He noted “That’s the cool thing about more and more people posting rescue videos…I can learn more techniques from different people.” With that inspiration in mind, the group attached a flashlight and camera to a remote controlled car. They sent the car slowly into the drain to get a better look at the family.
The mama cat reacted with fierce, protective hisses when the car approached so the team pulled back. Now that they knew where the family was located in the pipe, they could begin the rescue. The team assembled a 60-foot long pole with soft blankets duct taped to the end to form a gentle, safe cushion. They would use the pole to gently push from one side of the pipe with rescuers waited at the other end with a cat cage.
After starting to push, the mama cat quickly came running down the pipe and into the cage. She was a bit frantic, but calmed down once the rescuers placed a blanket over the cage. The rescuers heard her meowing and commented to each other that she didn’t seem feral.
The group attached even more padding to the pole and began to rescue the kittens. With a few stops and starts, the group carefully coordinated pushing from one end of the pipe while Eldad watched a live camera feed from the remote control car on the other end. As the pole began pushing through the pipe, debris collected around the kittens and protected them from the hard sides of the pipe. Just before the kittens were pushed out of the pipe, the team stopped pushing and began to carefully collect the tiny kittens.
They reunited the mama cat with her kittens, observing how sweet the whole family seemed to be. Because of that, the family became “Mama Nutella,” “Toffee,” “Snickers,” “BonBon,” and “Nougat.” The kittens turned out to be around six weeks old. The family was placed with a foster. When Eldad posted the video of the rescue to the Hope For Paws Facebook page, the post noted that the whole family was available for adoption through the Room 8 Memorial Cat Foundation. A little less than a month later, another post was made to the Hope For Paws Facebook page noting that Mama Nutella was “paying it forward” and taking care of a new litter of abandoned kittens “as if they were her own babies.” It’s always great when a happy ending gets a happy coda.
Mother Cat and Kittens Rescued with Remote Control Car posted May 22nd, 2017 by Halo & filed under Freekibble, Stories.