Heroes Come From Everywhere: Roto-Rooter Men Rescue Kitten Trapped For Several Days

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This little one month old calico with the beautiful eyes spent several days trapped  until a Roto-Rooter man who had dreamed of doing something good like this on the job saved her. A fiberoptic cam captured the rescue as it happened.

Roto-Rooter technician Shannon Doerner says that before joining the firm he had heard of a R-R employee rescuing a cat in the line of duty and from the time he joined the company he had hoped someday to do the same.

One day last week – conflicting reports say both Wednesday night and Thursday – Mr. Doerner got his chance, when the company dispatcher ordered him and his supervisor Mark Allen to the Springfield OH  home of  Angela Neal, who had heard meowing throughout her pipes for a week. Ms. Neal had previously called several agencies and companies, none of whom returned her calls promptly and all of whom said they were unable to come and help. The men’s dispatcher at Roto-Rooter of Dayton rushed the job out of concern for the cat’s extended stay trapped  in the system, and their manager sent them off saying “Be as careful as possible” and “get there as quickly as you can.”

Messrs. Doerner and Neal arrived with their plumbing gear and Ms. Neal took them to her basement, where the cries were the loudest, explaining that none of the food she threw down the pipes had made it to the cat and she couldn’t pinpoint the exact location of the animal. Again, reports conflict, but the cat was there for 5 to 7 days.

In the course of their inspection of the house and its plumbing system the men located an 8 inch wide drainpipe shaft  and the kitten was determined to be in an old 7 foot deep cistern meant to collect rainwater from the house’s roof in the days before the house was connected to the city’s water supply. They lowered a fiber optic sewer inspection video camera into the hole and discovered the kitten at the bottom of the 8-foot shaft.

Since the shaft was narrow they rescuers needed to come up with a innovative solution to retrieve the trapped kitten. “First we tried an ice cream bucket,” Mr. Doerner says. “The cat wouldn’t jump all the way into the bucket.” Then Ms. Neal produced a wicker basket and Mr. Allen got the idea to affix a can of cat food to it. Mr Doerner also says “If (Allen) didn’t have the idea of screwing the can of cat food into the wicker basket, we would have been done,” and “If (the cat) had knocked the food out, we never would have gotten it into the basket.”

Thankfully, the basket went down, and after repeated attempts with it the kitten got in and was brought up to safety. The operation took about two hours. The rescuers guess that the kitten  survived eating flies and piders and drinking rainwater. Reports are uncertain on whether the kitten originally lived with Ms. Neal but it is living with her now and is reported to be doing well and recuperating from its ordeal.

So, now we can add Roto-Rooter men to the annals of those heroes who make the effort to save trapped, stuck and endangered cats. Everyone involved at the company made this rescue a priority. There was no charge.

Fiberoptic-cam video of the little kitten walking around where he was trapped, before rescuers sent the basket down for him. This may be the moment when he was spotted. We see him look up, a though someone has called down to him.

Here’s a news report from wdtn2 with brief actual footage from the rescue, as the kitten is pulled up in the basket.

Cat-astrophe: plumbers save kitten: wdtn.com

Sources, Springfield News-Sun, wdtn, and Roto-Rooter press release.

0 thoughts on “Heroes Come From Everywhere: Roto-Rooter Men Rescue Kitten Trapped For Several Days”

  1. More like, “Kittens come from everywhere!” Good grief, what they won’t get into…

  2. Good luck for this little guy. So someone can see as a cat with 3 colors has good luck always – as we say in my homecountry. Thanks g….. 🙂

  3. Lovely markings on this beautiful kitten~! God bless Roto-Rooter (never thought I’d be typing those words~!) for them because they literally saved her life~! Hope she got to a vet and is okay now :*)

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