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When temperatures hit 90 degrees in the city, most of us can easily melt into a puddle. While such heatwaves have long been commonplace in the South, it’s not your usual for a place like Chicago. Stray and feral cats in the city can quickly overheat and desperately need a source of cool drinking water. For that reason, a kitten ended up putting himself in a life-threatening position.

See our easy tips for helping cats stay cool and hydrated in the heat here. And if you’re in the city or where stray and feral cats live, remember they may desperately need shade and a bowl of clean water.

90-degree Heatwave Leaves a Kitten Desperately Seeking Cover

A two-month-old stray orange kitten, Puddle, as he was later named, struggled for survival in Chicago near a busy expressway. While a massive source of water, Lake Michigan, was blocks away, it was useless to the kitten. A 90-degree heatwave was nearly melting the pavement with no relief in sight. In search of relief, he managed to squeeze through a sewer grate, falling into a deep hole beneath the hot street.

Images and video via Facebook/PAWS Chicago

Once inside, it was a scary, dark and filthy place and there was no way back out. Thankfully, the kitten had one chance: he used his powerful meow. But would anybody hear him and respond?

PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line, 4

As luck would have it, a very kind girl and her mother, April, happened to hear his cries. As soon as the girl saw the kitten, she became “beside herself” and refused to leave until someone could help. On that day, she made all the difference in what came next.

The Community Rallies For an Orange Fluffy Puddle

It would take a team effort to save the kitten. April called 311 and posted on a local Facebook group, prompting a quick response from the PAWS Chicago outreach team. Meanwhile, another Good Samaritan, Catherine, worked with Chicago Water Management. Everyone converged at the sewer grate to save the still-meowing orange Puddle.

Just look at how many folks came to the rescue (see video below)!

Once the grate was removed, a kind gentleman descended into the manhole to lift out the cute little guy.

 PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line, 6

“We’re all melting over sweet little Puddle!…Together with Chicago Water Management, Puddle was soon rescued and brought to our Medical Center for care. Aside from being dehydrated and hungry, Puddle has some minor injuries that we’ll take care of before finding him a loving home!” PAWS Chicago shared.

 PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line, 1

On Facebook, April thanked many folks for helping that day. But most of all, she thanked her daughter.

“Thanks to Catherine for getting the Water Department to come out so quick. Also, my daughter for refusing to leave until the kitten was out of the sewer and Paws for taking it to be homed,” wrote April.

PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line, 8

Shout out to April’s compassionate daughter who refused to leave Puddle! You are pawesome!

Puddle’s Rescue Could Now Help Save Hundreds of Pets

Once freed from that smelly sewer, the kitten cleaned up nicely. He’s surely the most handsome puddle you’ll ever see.

 PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line, 3

We don’t know where he came from, but he sure is a friendly little guy, and so appreciated his rescuer’s help. One day soon, he’ll bring a lucky family a lifetime of cuddle puddles and healing purrs.

Even better, Puddle’s dramatic and heartwarming rescue could now help save many more pets.

 PAWS Chicago, Puddle the orange kitten saved from a sewer, sewer grate, ginger kitten, April Garza, Catherine Boryczka, Chicago Water Management, kitten rescue, Giving Day, community rescue, Ashland, Orange Line ,2

The rescuer’s annual Giving Day was the next day on June 20th. They shared that donations to help pets like Puddle are doubled up to $45K thanks to generous donors!

You can follow and support PAWS Chicago on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

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