Firefighters rescue kitten stuck in drain pipe in Victoria
Published Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:07PM PST Last Updated Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:26PM PST
VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver Island woman is counting her blessings, and her kitten is counting its remaining lives.
One morning last week, Emma Hutchinson's eight-month-old cat Willow was nowhere to be found.
Hutchinson looked everywhere, thinking the kitten was lost, but then she noticed an uncovered drain opening.
"I have a plumbing inspection camera, so eventually I thought, 'I have to have a look,'" Hutchinson recalled. "So I fed the camera down there and I was trying to get it to focus and all of a sudden it focused on cat fur."
The shocking discovery left Hutchinson "horrified and petrified," she said, adding that she was "not very optimistic" that the kitten would survive.
She called the Victoria Fire Rescue for help extracting the tiny animal, who was about two metres down the pipe.
When firefighters arrived, they soon discovered that the concrete covering the pipe was too thick to be broken with a sledgehammer.
Luckily, Hutchinson again had the right tool for the job.
"Bucky actually said, 'Gee, we need a hammer drill or something,' and Emma steps up and goes, 'Oh, I've got one of those,' and she hands us a 30-pound jackhammer," recalled Victoria Fire Rescue acting Capt. Tim Hanley.
Crews quickly got to work exposing the pipe, and soon they were able to shake Willow free.
The City of Victoria shared video of the kitten emerging from the pipe on its Instagram page. In the video, the cat looks wet and dirty, but appears to be moving and working to free itself from the pipe.
Once shaken free, Willow was taken to the vet and treated for dehydration and hypothermia, but soon she was back to her old self.
"Within 24 hours she was back to chasing her littermate up and down the stairs," said Hutchinson. "So, it was quite a miraculous recovery."
With files from CTV News Vancouver Island’s Eric Lloyd