NH Firefighters Work 8 Hours To Rescue Trapped Cat

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In a remarkable demonstration of respect for a little life, fire department rescue crews from two towns worked for 8 hours on Wednesday to rescue a young cat found trapped and hanging with his head stuck in a storm grate.

“It’s a very overwhelming thing to see everybody there like that to help my cat. I told one of the Pelham police officers that I felt bad that they’re doing all that for my cat and she looked at me and said, ‘It’s a life, too. It matters.”

Samantha Bastoni

A little cat became stuck in a heavy iron storm drain grate earlier this week and members of  two local communities responded. Firefighters, police, a vet and even a local auto body shop all offered to help the little cat.

Pelham NH pet mom Samantha Bastoni says 9 month old Tripp disappeared on Tuesday May 31 and did not come or respond when she searched for him that evening. By Wednesday morning she was quite worried when he still had not returned home.

A neighbor saw a little head sticking partway out of a storm grate on Wednesday and called Ms. Bastoni when she realized that the little creature was Tripp.

Ms. Bastoni is quoted in the Manchester Union Leader as saying “She thought he was a stuffed animal, he was so quiet,” of her neighbor upon spotting him; then continuing, ” It was probably one of the worst things I’ve seen in my life. It was awful. He wasn’t even meowing when we found him because he was that close to the end.”

The pet mom and her neighbors managed to lift the drain cover but were unable to dislodge the cat, so emergency responders were called in.

Poor Tripp, who was hanging from the small square opening, is thought to have been stuck for many hours, probably overnight. He drifted in and out of consciousness and was given oxygen during the rescue effort, while his head was repositioned several times to provide him some comfort and take pressure from his neck.

The cat is presumed to have entered the storm drain from below and become stuck while trying to climb up and out through the grate. Ms. Bastoni guesses her half-Siberian cat was chased into the storm drain and says that, as Siberians are known to be good climbers, Tripp managed to climb up from below.

Pelham and Windham fire departments worked for about eight hours trying to free Tripp, as he was draped in heating blankets and sedated in the course of the lengthy ordeal. Tripp’s head was stuck so tightly that efforts to lubricate it and slide it out were unsuccessful, causing firefighters to turn to the Jaws of Life, then torches, and finally a circular saw. After most of the 2″ thick iron grate was cut away Tripp was taken to Rockingham Emergency Veterinary Hospital, where Windham firefighters finally released him.

Dr. Mina Conner, who treated Tripp, says he was cold and weak when he came in and needed sedation because he struggled every time he awoke. He was kept at the hospital for a day and a half and released on Thursday evening.

Dr. Connor says this time of year cats become adventurous and that the hospital sees similar incidents about once a year.

Tripp is back home, looking a little the worse for wear but apparently otherwise fine. Ms. Bastoni says she is grateful to everyone who helped or offered to help Tripp.

Sources: Manchester Union Leader, WMUR, Boston Globe, Nashua Telegraph

17 thoughts on “NH Firefighters Work 8 Hours To Rescue Trapped Cat”

  1. What an incredible story and rescue of a kitty. I’m so proud of everyone who helped that cat. Thank you.

  2. I just love those firefighters. I have 2 nephews who are firefighters and I’m so proud of them. Thank you to everyone who helped rescue that kitty.

  3. So good to hear more about these rescuers who are taking the time to rescue precious lives of all walks, regardless of whether they are human or animal. Glad their actions are getting more “press time” nowdays!

  4. I’m so happy he’s okay! I just hope his owner thinks twice before letting him out again. Kitties are safer at home.

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