Officer Gets Help Saving Soggy Kitty

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A kitten in the box soon became a soggy kitty inside a drain pipe Monday morning in Indio, California; but a county animal control officer responded and, with the help of a Good Samaritan, the male kitten was saved.

The kitten was actually nibbling on some food with two other kitty buddies inside a box near a trash dumpster. When an employee at a nearby business picked up a box to get it out of the way for a soon-to-be-arriving trash truck, the kitties jumped out and bolted. Two went one way, and the lone ranger darted inside a drainage pipe connected to the wall. The drain was near the entrance of Sav-On Carpets at 83-151 Indio Blvd.

Riverside County Animal Services Animal Control Officer Kyle Stephens arrived to the business, but he was unable to get his hand inside deep enough to retrieve the kitten. Fortunately, Sal Flores, the owner of Sav-On Carpets, had a smaller hand and thinner wrist and he was able to wrestle the kitten safely from the drainage pipe. Officer Stephens positioned himself with a net – just in case the kitty tried to take off into traffic.

“He seemed paralyzed at first, as if he was scared out of his mind,” the officer said. “But I wrapped him up in a towel and dried him off.”

Stephens transported the 7-week-old kitten to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. The kitten has been described as very nice and the employees at the shelter nicknamed him “Genie.” He is likely a stray kitten and does not have an owner. After a holding period, he will be available for adoption.

Mr. Flores is a pet owner himself with five cats and two dogs. He has owned Sav-On Carpets for 34 years. He said he was very happy the kitten was saved. “We had quite a little adventure with him,” he said. “When I reached inside the drain, I felt his tail and then was able to locate his legs. I nudged him out very gently.”

Meanwhile, he said, he keeps a lookout for the other two scavengers. He said he will call Riverside County Animal Services if the other two kittens show up again.

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