So, lately my faith in humanity has taken a bit of an uppercut to the jaw, for various reasons that I will not elaborate upon here. Let’s just say the world can be a cruel place at times, for both humans and animals alike. Fortunately, just when I was most in need of solid evidence that human beings are indeed capable of being the kind and caring creatures I believe we are all meant to be, recently I got a glimpse of that proof…in the form of a tiny, helpless creature in trouble, and the group of strangers who came together to try to save his life.
It was a beautiful, sunny Thursday afternoon when one of my co-workers ran by my desk with a “Come on, there’s a kitten who needs help!” thrown over her shoulder. As we made our way out of the office tower where we work, she explained that security had called our office (we work for the company that owns the development) to let us know there was a kitten trapped inside the front end of a car parked in the multi-level parking garage.
Miraculously, this little kitten had somehow managed to find his way to an upper level of the extremely busy garage without being run over and, obviously terrified, had crawled up into the wheel well of a car – which unfortunately was parked right on the corner of the ramp receiving all of the exiting traffic. Two women walking through the garage had heard the kitten’s frantic mewing and called the garage attendant, who immediately began searching for him.
Once the garage attendant, a former member of the military with an obvious soft spot for vulnerable creatures in danger, located the kitten, he tried to free him by reaching up into the wheel well to pull him out. Unfortunately, the traumatized kitten panicked, crawling further up into the tiny space leading into the engine block, where he disappeared.
The attendant called security for help. Two guards responded immediately, since by now it was 3:00pm and the traffic exiting the garage was starting to pick up. My co-worker and I showed up shortly thereafter.
When we arrived, there were no fewer than seven people doing everything they could to assist. One of the two women who initially heard the kitten had gotten a blanket from her car, which she had placed on the ground next to the wheel well. No longer able to reach the kitten, the garage attendant was directing exiting traffic as far away from the car as possible, while one of the security guards took down the car’s license plate and began going door to door in all three office towers in the development asking who owned the vehicle. My co-worker ran back to the office to send an email to all tenants asking whose car it was. One guy who had been walking by and noticed the commotion (and who also happened to be a cat lover), was down on the ground on the blanket with the attendant’s flashlight trying to get a visual on the kitten, who by now was so frightened that he wasn’t making any noise at all.
I took turns with the cat-loving guy crawling as far underneath the car as I could, trying to figure out how in the world to coax this kitten out. It was warm outside, and there was no telling how long he had been up inside the vehicle, without food, most likely dehydrated and possibly injured. Since we didn’t have the owner’s permission to enter the locked vehicle, any attempt to get inside to pop the hood would have been considered breaking and entering, so we were stuck and running out of time. Someone from inside one of the towers brought tuna to try to get him to come out, but no luck. We were praying he didn’t panic and shoot out from underneath the car directly into oncoming traffic.
It was then that one of the other onlookers had a brilliant idea. She used her phone to search online for a video of a mother cat calling to her kittens.
With the volume turned all the way up, we stuck the phone as far underneath the car as possible and held our breath. After about 20 seconds, we heard the kitten starting to call out, literally responding to the calls of the mama cat in the video. Shortly thereafter, he began to crawl back down from the engine into the wheel well, where, exhausted, he finally fell onto the ground underneath the car and feebly tried to crawl away. Cat-loving guy (whose name turned out to be Brian), gently picked him up and wrapped him in a sweatshirt.
I immediately called my friend Sandra, who runs the not-for-profit kitten rescue Cool Cats of Arizona, and asked for her help. Despite the fact that it’s peak kitten season and she was filled to capacity, without hesitation Sandra offered to take in the kitten, give him immediate supportive care, and keep him there until he was able to be adopted.
I took the kitten from Brian, and after quickly checking him for injuries (he didn’t appear to have any), I wrapped him in my co-worker’s sweater and gently placed him in a clean cardboard box that had been procured by one of the guards. I put him in my car, and together we made the 20-minute drive to Cool Cats.
The photos below tell the rest of the story:
The story had an even happier ending than I could have hoped for. Although numerous people came forward and offered to adopt the kitten, in the end it was Brian who asked to have him, and we all agreed that Brian should definitely be the one. So when the kitten has been neutered, vaccinated, and is ready to be adopted, Brian will be there to give him his forever home.
And my faith in humanity? Restored…by a tiny, fragile kitten, and the actions of seven strangers who believe that every life, no matter how small, is precious and worthy of whatever it takes to preserve it.
Do you have a rescue story you’d like to share? Please tell us about it in the comments below!