Two kittens in Los Angeles were fortunate enough to be recently rescued from extreme circumstances.
A concerned passerby, Sheila Greene, had seen a tiny kitten on the side of the freeway’s carpool lane. To make matters worse, this wasn’t just ANY highway, this was Southern California’s Interstate 10. Commutes are known to take HOURS to traverse this overcrowded and terrifying roadway.
Now imagine you are a baby kitten stuck with 6 lanes of cars rushing past you at 60 mph! What hope do you have!?
You have Hope For Paws, the amazing local rescue team of Eldad Hagar and Loreta Frankonyte. These two have proven time and time again, they will not let anything stop them from potentially rescuing a furry life.
The fearless duo were actually returning from another rescue when the emergency text was received.
As soon as Eldad and Loreta read the message, they hurried to get to the kitty. It took them almost 45 nerve-wracking minutes to locate the stranded feline, thankfully finding it still frozen in it’s spot, but alive.
Parking about 200 yards away, they rushed into action with a plan. They would approach the frightened kitten from both sides and grab it with either gloved hands or nets, praying it wouldn’t bolt into traffic. Now to just get past the hundreds of speeding vehicles!
Fighting nerves, the heroes literally stopped traffic and crossed to the fur-baby. Eldad filmed the tense moments while Loreta swooped in behind the stranded soul and quickly grabbed the terrified kitten. Stopping traffic again, the successful rescuers hurried back to their car and began the difficult fight to ensure the kitten survived.
With no clue how the 5-week old kitten had found himself in that position, they figured he had been carelessly discarded from a vehicle. Loreta cradled the young boy in her lap on the way to an emergency hospital, calling him Napoleon.
An exam showed the weak kitten was suffering from an eye infection, starving and full of fleas. Medication, a full meal and a warm bath started Napoleon’s new journey of life, definitely on a safer path!
It’s All In A Day’s Work
Many rescuers will accurately debate this should read: “All in a day…and night…and into the next day…and the next night.”
So even after Napoleon, and what Loreta refers to as “the most dangerous rescue we’ve ever done”, the dedicated team was called on again.
Just as he was about to relax, Eldad received a text. This time the frantic call was from a friend of a friend, who had heard what Hope For Paws had accomplished. They were desperately needed. This time a kitten had fallen into a chimney and for 3 DAYS, neither the local fire department, a chimney sweep, nor animal control had been unable to save the baby! The family was at a loss.
Racing to the home during the wee night hours, Eldad and Loreta now needed to formulate a plan to save THIS kitten from certain doom.
With the guidance of the homeowners, every area the kitten could have possibly entered the chimney was searched. No other kittens or a mother were found. A narrow divide had trapped the baby between the wall and the chimney vent, likely having fallen down the deep abyss.
Hearing the weak kitten, who hadn’t had any food or water in at least 72 hours, was heartbreaking. They couldn’t see it and hope began to dwindle when the baby eventually stopped meowing.
But remember, our rescuers never give up! Knowing time was running out, they needed to take drastic measures.
Amazingly, Jose and Jocelyn who own the house, were more than willing to allow the team to destroy the walls to get to the kitten! After hours of attempts to locate the kitty and safely clear a path to the babies temporary tomb, Eldad carefully drilled holes into the drywall. Once the structure was weakened, he pulled chunks of the wall out to extract the kitten.
But spirits dropped as Eldad finally laid eyes on the baby at 2:15 am, who was now not moving or making a sound. They feared the worst.
Grabbing the frozen soul out of the wall finally, the exhausted tiny furball let out a relieving, tiny meow! Overjoyed at the life still clinging to the freed feline, they fed the baby some sugar water to raise it’s glucose levels and again, rushed to the emergency vet.
You can even hear Eldad calling back to the owners of the house in the video, saying “I’ll pay for fixing everything, I promise!”
Holding the baby close to the heating vent during the harrowing car ride, Loreta called him Cricket. The minutes turned into hours at the E.R. and little Cricket fought for his life through the early morning.
He was so cold that the temperature on the thermometer wouldn’t even register. Due to dehydration, the vet found that his veins were collapsing and he had to have a catheter inserted into his neck. Without this IV, he wouldn’t survive.
The tough boy channeled his strength and pulled through!
UPDATES: Kittens Overcoming Life’s Obstacles
After a few closely monitored days, Cricket began feeling stronger and eating on his own. Two weeks later, Melany Gomez, the niece of the homeowners who had originally contacted Eldad, came by to visit the “chimney kitty”.
When she and her husband Mike arrived, they never would have guessed the visit would end as it did.
Cricket had made a new friend…Napoleon, the “highway kitty”! He was also in the hospital and making a full recovery. The two boys had bonded and helped each other through their difficult times.
Without premeditation, Melany asked if they would be able to adopt both boys! Never were there happier rescuers =)
Now, Smokey (formerly Cricket) and Ten (short for Tender, formerly Napoleon) are living the good life as a happy duo. You can even follow their kitty antics and ongoing recoveries on their own Instagram page; @tendersmokey.
These are the moments that make every heart thumping second worth the risk. Without our support, sharing these amazing stories and donations, Hope For Paws wouldn’t be able to continue their heroism. Please follow their social media, spread the word and help their cause!