A lone kitten who was stuck in a drain pipe, got help and was reunited with her cat family.
Workers at a factory in Elkhart County, Indiana found a feral cat mother with her kittens needing rescue. While they were trying to get the kittens to safety, one of them panicked, dashed towards a gutter, and jumped straight down.
"The gutter guard was broken. The plastic gutter pipe went three feet down and then angled out to a manhole pipe," Missy McNeal of Catsnip Etc told Love Meow. "The little kitten slid down to the bottom and it was too slippery to climb all the way back up."
The workers reached out to Catsnip Etc when they had exhausted all their options to save the kitten.
Upon arrival, rescuers began trying different ways to find which pipe, in the maze of underground pipes, that she had taken refuge in. After many hours of extensive search with a camera, they still weren't able to locate the elusive kitten.
It was close to midnight and very dark outside, so they decided to come back in the morning with new ideas. Several members of the community and Miller Sewer Cleaning joined forces to free the drain pipe kitten the next day.
"We came up with the plan to run water down the pipe that she jumped into, and try to follow the path the water took to figure out where she was." The plan worked, and they were able to pinpoint the manhole connected to the pipe of interest. "It was nowhere close to where she fell and we could have never located it."
In order to retrieve the kitten safely, it would require a brave, non-claustrophobic person willing to scoot through a narrow, dirty pipe with about an inch of sitting water.
Ashlee cuddling with the drain pipe kittenCatsnip Etc
Ashlee saw the plea for help from social media and offered to take on the mission. "She came to the address, went down the manhole and never looked back," Missy told Love Meow.
The lone kitten saw Ashlee emerging towards her, and she came right to her. She was so ready to get out after about 40 hours underground. "No one can imagine the sense of relief we all felt when Ashlee yelled she had the kitten."
The little one was immediately wrapped in a towel as she was soaked, muddy, and freezing cold. They rushed her home to dry her off and started warming her up with a heating pad and warm fluids (she was extremely dehydrated).
"We gave her some Karo syrup for her low blood sugar and finally syringed her some food when she was warm enough," Missy shared.
Meanwhile, rescuers were able to get the rest of the feline family into foster care, and no one was left behind. As soon as the solo kitten perked up, they reunited her with her mom and siblings.
"She ran right up to her family and snuggled under her mom's chin."
The drain pipe kitten is reunited with her cat familyCatsnip Etc
The drain pipe kitten was just half the size of some of her littermates. She was so glad to be back with her crew and nuzzled up to her mom for some extra TLC.
"They are working on being socialized and getting lots of love."
It took a village and over one day to save a tiny kitten. Now the little one can enjoy all the luxuries that come with indoor life along with her mom and siblings.
"The little drain baby is much perkier and up to 11 ounces. What a little fighter!"