Piper’s Cold Winter Rescue

piper cat storiesWinter can be a beautiful time of year . . . snowmen, icicles, trees hanging heavy with piles of glittering snowflakes . . But, along with all that beauty comes cold, sometimes frigid weather. The average temperature in Finlay, Ohio in January is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like the coldest place to be in the winter but, when you are stuck in a wet, icy drainpipe with no blanket and no food for a few days . . . then it probably seems like the coldest place on earth.

Susan Orians was passing by Donnell Middle School in Finlay, Ohio on a Wednesday evening in January of 2014 when she heard a noise coming from the downspout on the school’s wall. Upon closer inspection she realized it was the faint meowing of a cat. Susan went home and returned with tuna to try and coax the cat out. Other bystanders had gathered and they also tried to help free the crying cat. One helpful bystander even tried a cellphone app that meowed. But, nothing could lure the cold, scared little kitty out. Finally, the small group of would-be rescuers made the decision to contact the school first thing in the morning. The concerned group disbanded but not before vowing to return the next day and try and help with the rescue.

When the school received Susan’s call early Thursday morning they quickly contacted the Hancock County Humane Society. Employees and volunteers of the humane society arrived on the scene and began working to save the cat.

A hole was cut in to the downspout then food and catnip were placed in to try and entice the cat out. After some time had passed with no sign of the cat, a camera was placed in to the downspout. They soon discovered that the cat was too big to fit through the downspout and gain freedom. After exhausting all their efforts, workers left the scene around 8:30pm on Thursday evening but vowed to return the next morning with a solution to save the poor feline. Early Friday morning the workers returned to the school and began digging out the buried portion of the drainage pipe. By 10am on Thursday, the cat was finally freed from the pipe.

The orange male cat was very muddy and emaciated. He was quickly taken to the local veterinarian where he was found to be suffering from hypothermia. Upon further inspection, the poor cat was found to have a broken leg and other injuries that indicated more trauma than what the drainpipe could have done. Though he was battered and beaten, he was expected to make a full recovery.

The loyal group of volunteers who helped rescue the stranded cat decided to name him “Piper” in reference to his time spent stuck in the drainpipe. They learned that Piper most likely crawled into the pipe through a drainage basin located on a nearby street. Most likely hiding from whatever threat had injured him in the first place.

The positive side of Piper’s story is that his rescue made headlines and garnered much attention. Many people came forward with requests to adopt the cat and give him a forever home. Happily, Piper won’t need to worry about being caught out in the cold, harsh winter any more.

BERNIE A cat rescue story

Sadly, this rescue story begins like many others: An irresponsible person finds out their cat is going to have kittens. They don’t want to deal with feeding and taking care of a bunch more cats so they take the very pregnant mother cat to a field, drive off, and leave her there. Out of sight . . . out of mind . . .

Luckily, the cat was discovered by the land owner, a kind-hearted woman named Jeanne, but not before the cat gives birth to a litter of five kittens. Jeanne tries repeatedly to trap the mother cat and her kittens but, one by one, they begin disappearing until only one little tortoiseshell kitten remains. Jeanne tries to catch the kitten continually for more than three months, setting traps and bait until, one day, the kitten is nowhere to be found. Jeanne lives in a rural area and there are many coyotes nearby so she assumes the worst has happened and gives up hope of finding and rescuing the poor kitten.

cat rescue storiesSome weeks later, Jeanne was locking up the house to go to bed when she heard a cat crying outside. When she stepped out on to her porch, she saw it was the tortoiseshell mother cat. It ran up to her and rubbed all over her legs but then, just as quickly, ran off again. Jeanne stood there for a few minutes calling to the cat when she saw it coming back toward her with something in its mouth. It dropped the little black bundle at Jeanne’s feet.

It wasn’t moving and it was dark so Jeanne couldn’t tell what it was. After retrieving a flashlight from inside the house, Jeanne inspected the bundle more closely. It smelled terrible and, though it was covered in fur, it was singed. When she reached out to touch it, it hissed at her. Jeanne then realized it was a kitten and that it was alive! As it was late and Jeanne was afraid to separate the kitten from the mother cat, she put together a makeshift bed in one of the window-wells of her farm house. She laid the kitten on soft blankets and momma cat jumped right in to the new bed to lay next to her baby for the night.

Early the next morning, Jeanne took the kitten to the vet, who quickly agreed with her diagnosis of the kitten being burnt. Thankfully, the only part of the kitten that had been literally burnt was his tail. The rest of the kitten had only been scorched by intense heat which left him with singed fur and whiskers. The sensitive tissues of his nose and mouth had also been affected by the intense heat, as well as his paws and paw pads.
The vet cleaned the wounds and prescribed antibiotics and discussed a recovery plan for the poor kitten. The vet worked closely with a lovely woman named Susanne, who often fostered cats that needed extra special care. Jeanne handed the kitten over and told Susanne his name was “Burnie” – or “Bernie” as he would come to be known.

It was a long, tough road of recovery for Bernie but he was a truly strong kitten with a determined spirit.
How could he not be?? Just look at his mother.

A true “wild” cat, who wanted nothing to do with humans, she knew when to overlook her fears and ask for help when her kitten needed it most. With a will that strong, how could her baby not have some of the same?