A tiny kitten was stuck in a water well for 5 days before being rescued!
When homeowners in South Carolina heard tiny meows coming from a 4 inch pipe that plummeted 60 feet down, they did everything they could to save the trapped furbaby. For the first attempt, they fashioned a makeshift ladder out of sticks so the kitten could climb up.
Unfortunately this was unsuccessful and the sticks fell down the pipe, becoming lodged in the tiny space. This only added more worry as they could collapse onto the trapped kitten. Once the sticks were carefully pulled from the pipe using fishing gear, rescue efforts could continue.
A local cat rescuer, Kimberly Cockrell had been trying to at least drop some food down the deep abyss. She knew more needed to be done though and reached out to her friends Eldad Hagar and Loreta Frankonyte, who run Hope for Paws in Los Angeles, CA. Initially, her thoughts were to get any ideas the two may have on how to save the poor kitty.
When Eldad and Loreta heard the story however, they jumped on a plane and 15 hours later were onsite with the growing rescue team.
Posting on their Facebook page, Eldad inquired about any ideas or suggestions on how to best tackle the situation successfully. They received over 600 comments and offers to help by the time they landed on the East Coast!
Freedom Plumbing, Inc. in SC joined forces with the rescuers, bringing expertise and much needed camera equipment to site.
Together the crew knew they had to work fast to extract the kitten. The plumbing team dropped a camera down the hole and anxiously awaited their first look at the desperate kitten. What they saw 43 feet underground instantly won over, and broke, everyone’s hearts simultaneously.
The tiny kitten was fading, barely able to keep it’s eyes open. Rescuers began meowing in attempts to spark some action and liven up the weak baby. To their astonishment, the kitten opened it’s eyes and began responding to their calls with renewed vigor! At one point, the kitten even began climbing up the pipe on it’s own, but then ran out of strength, sliding back down.
The plan of action was to drop a looped rope with a weight on it, down the pipe and hook it around the kitten. This was to provide as much support to help it climb out or in the worst case if the cat couldn’t climb, pull it from the hole. Carefully positioning the rope and camera to view the delicate work, they finally attempted to secure the kitten after only an hour!
As the kitten was being raised to safety by Eldad, the adrenaline kicked in and team cried out to make sure the area was secure, getting a towel or blanket ready to grab the frightened soul. No one knew if the cat was injured from the fall or what state it was in medically.
But after 5 days, the kitten was finally saved! Grateful rescuers wrapped the shaking furbaby in a flannel shirt and held it close. Tears of joy were shed by more than one person onsite…and admittedly by those of us watching the amazing video.
The kitten was not out of harms way yet though. Frigidly cold and shaking from shock and hypothermia, they needed to bring up it’s body temperature quickly and safely. Holding the tiny tabby close to the heating vents in their vehicle, they sped off to Well Pets, an urgent care hospital and vet clinic.
Luck was still on this kitties side and only 30 minutes after being pulled from almost certain demise, a wobbly but warming up kitten greeted doctors.
Veterinarians confirmed that the little boy, named Jessie by rescuers, was approximately 5 weeks old. His temperature had thankfully risen to 98 degrees and he although his back leg muscles were slightly atrophied, he had no other injuries. You can see his wobble, but that soon wore off as he gained strength.
Because Jessie was still working on getting stronger, he couldn’t travel back to L.A. for a few days. He stayed with Loreta in a hotel until cleared by doctors. While recovering and the two bonded closely.
As much as Loreta hated to part with the tiny fighter that won her soul, she knew that her home with 2 elderly dogs wouldn’t be a good fit for the now energetic kitten.
Jessie now shares a fur-ever home with both feline and canine siblings. Happily for the rest of us who clung to the edge of our seats following the rescue video, we can follow along on the rest of his adventures on Facebook @FriendsofShaggy! His new family shares adorable photos and updates about the little kitty that just gets cuter and cuter.
Jessie has gained 2 pounds in the last month and is doing great. His older brother Gilbert keeps an eye on him now to keep him out of trouble…and out of the top bunk! <3
Kimberly Cockrell purrfectly replied to a Facebook post by Freedom Plumbers, Inc., who by the way refused to take payment and were just happy to be part of saving the life of Jessie.
“We could not have done this without both you and Rob. It was so frustrating not having eyes on Jessie. The moment your camera brought him into our view, was one I will never forget. Thank you for stunning us by donating your time and services. So shines a good deed in a weary world”.
Thank you to EVERYONE who was involved with this rescue and for your continued efforts saving the felines all over the country!
And just because we can’t get enough…here’s more of Jessie exploring his new home, SAFELY! =)