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Bill and Ted’s Kitten Adventure Involves Rescue via Shop-Vac

Two kittens stuck in a drainpipe were near death; they've recovered and look forward to adoption.

Phillip Mlynar  |  Sep 12th 2016


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At the risk of turning the Monday Miracle column into a brand new thing called Men In Uniform Rescuing Kittens, this week we have another case of local service people coming to the aid of some curious little kittens who found their way into a predicament. This time it involves firefighters from Pinole, California, and a couple of three-week-old tykes who somehow managed to get themselves firmly stuck inside an underground pipe.

Let’s dig into exactly what transpired.

According to a report in the East Bay Times, passersby heard curious meowing on a Tuesday afternoon — but they couldn’t work out exactly the sounds’ origins. A call was placed to the Contra Costa Animal Services, whose representatives arrived and traced the origin of the kitten cries to an underground pipe a couple of feet below the ground.

At this point, the local fire brigade was brought in and teamed up with members of the animal services to determine exactly how to go about rescuing the kittens.

As a first attempt, animal services officer Manny Morales extricated one of the kittens by using an impromptu cat rescuing prop fashioned from a snare pole with a flashlight affixed to the end of it.

Unfortunately, the second kitten was way out of reach of the snare pole.

A brainstorming session produced the idea of using a Shop-Vac to suck the kitten out.

Amazingly, it worked.

After carefully snaking the vacuum down the drain pipe, the Shop-Vac was turned on and the kitten was gently sucked up into the tubing, which was in turn brought up out of the drain pipe.

What emerged was one presumably quite confused and very dirt-clogged kitten.

According to an animal services officer on the scene, both kittens were close to death, suffering from hypothermia with body temperatures so low they didn’t even register on a thermometer.

Thankfully, after lots of close-up care and attention, a couple of days later they were said to be playing and acting like normal kittens. (There’s just the matter of an upper respiratory infection to take care of at the time of writing.)

Fittingly, the kittens have been named Bill and Ted — apparently on account of their penchant for adventures, albeit not “excellent” by many measures.

Once these inquisitive little fluffballs finish recuperating and reach an age of two months, Bill and Ted will be up for adoption. In the meantime, you can witness the end of their quite brilliant rescue in the video below.