Firefighters rescued a kitten trapped in a storm drain grate. The 1-year-old cat was dangling by its neck, and if it wasn’t for the timely intervention by the fire crew from Winchendon Fire Department, the kitten would have died.
It certainly wasn’t a typical cat stuck in a tree type of rescue, but the firefighters had a complex problem before them that needed to be solved quickly and efficiently. They were called to rescue a kitten stuck by its neck in a standard iron grate placed over a storm water drainage hole, reported Mass Live. By the time they arrived, the kitten already appeared exhausted and barely breathing, the firefighters wrote on the Winchendon Fire Department Facebook page.
“When we arrived, the cat was barely breathing and moving as she was hanging from the grate.”
Terming it an “unusual animal rescue,” firefighters didn’t know how to rescue the kitten that had got its head stuck in the grate, reported Metro. However, they first removed the drain to ensure the kitten wasn’t dangling anymore. Once the young feline was placed at a comfortable angle, the firefighters then decided to go off-book. Usually, when an animal or human gets trapped in such a situation, the course of action is to bring out the industrial-grade cutting tools and tear or cut the thing that’s holding the victims.
However, this technique wouldn’t have worked with the storm water cover because it was quite thick. Attempting to cut the grate would have been extremely dangerous for the kitten. Moreover, the cutting would have generated a lot of heat, which might have singed the poor kitty. Not to mention, the flying sparks and metal bits would have hurt it badly. To avoid the risks, the firefighters hit upon a simple idea that has been used for centuries to remove rings that get stuck on fingers.
The fire crew asked the worried owner to fetch some dish soap, reported CBS Local. When the soap arrived, firefighters carefully smeared the same around the cat’s head and neck, thereby significantly lubricating the kitty.
“We applied it around the cat’s neck, we slowly worked his head back into the grate and within a couple minutes we freed the cat.”
After the rescue, the cat was immediately reunited with her owner, who thanked the firefighters for their efforts. The department described it as a “feel-good animal story” and praised the “strong work” of its crew, reported the Huffington Post.
It is not clear how the cat managed to get stuck in the grate, however, firefighters speculated the kitten might have been trying to make her way to the surface, and assuming the small opening might be large enough for her to squeeze through, attempted to get out. While cats are known to expertly make their way through a lot of tight spaces, they often have undue confidence that gets them stranded in some pretty tough spots.
Cats are, by nature, very inquisitive, share experts. Despite being well-fed, these felines can take an amazingly long stroll through the neighborhood. Despite being just a year old, this kitten might have decided to explore her surroundings and ventured into the storm water drainage system. These underground systems are the perfect place for rats to hide and can be considered a playground for cats. It is quite likely the young cat managed to sneak inside the labyrinth but couldn’t make her way out and panicked. Often, scared cats can make irrational decisions and end up stranded, thus needing assistance from firefighters.
[Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]