ROSEVILLE, CA - SureWest employees determined to rescue a month-old feral kitten stuck in a storm drain system finally succeeded early Friday morning.
SureWest worker Cristina Carson emailed photos of the kitten with the following message:
I just want to let you know that my coworker n I were able to save the kitten n reunited w mom kitty, at 1:45am :)
The rescue operation began Thursday morning after a SureWest employee heard the kitten's cries from the bottom of a 12-foot-deep PVC pipe.
SureWest spokeswoman Anne Chacon said Roto-Rooter came out late Thursday with a snake camera, allowing would-be rescuers to see the kitten-- but they were still unable to pull it to safety.
Before the crew left for the night,SureWest employee Pat Skaggs fashioned a long strip of screen material and lowered it into the 6-inch diameter pipe, hoping the kitten would climb out on its own.
Carson said she and coworker Alex Reyes checked the pipe when she got off her shift at midnight and saw the kitten clinging to the screen.
"When I tried to lift it, the kitten fell off," Carson said. "But then we heard it crying on the other side of the wall."
Carson and Reyes realized the kitten had made its way into a drainage well covered by a steel grate outside the building's basement.
They searched for an access door to thewell from inside the building and eventually pulled the kitten from the water at 1:45 a.m.
Carson said after drying it off, she left the kitten on a grassy area outside the building where the mother had been watching the operation for much of the day.
"She walked over and smelled the kitten and hesitated," Carson said. "Then she picked it up and carried it into the bushes where the other four kittens have been staying."
Carson said she had been watching the family since the mother gave birth on June 24 or 25, feeding them daily.
She said she and her coworkers planned to rescue the feral cat family and adopt them or turn them over to the Placer SPCA.
"It turned out to be a happy ending," Carson said.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net