On Tuesday morning, Joy Seward heard meowing coming from inside the walls of her West Park, Florida, home.
A cat lover who already shares her home with three adult cats, she knew any cat trapped inside her walls wouldn’t have long to survive, so she called her local fire department.
Although the fire department always deals with emergencies first, they also do service calls such as cat rescues when they aren’t busy saving homes and lives, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.
When the firefighters arrived later that day, they climbed into the crawl space above Seward’s home in search of the crying kitten, but after a thorough search they realized the sound wasn’t coming from the attic.
So they moved on to the room where the meowing was the loudest. They punched a small hole in the wall and threaded a flexible search camera through it. Eventually they spotted a black and white kitten. They made another hole just big enough to let the cat out and pulled him to safety.
Seward went to sleep thinking everything was back to normal, but she awoke Wednesday morning to hear yet more meowing, getting louder and more desperate.
She checked to see if it was the kitten the firefighters had freed from the wall the night before. But the tiny feline was still asleep, curled up on a towel in a cardboard box next to Seward’s bed.
“I thought it was all taken care of,” said Seward, a retired U.S. Postal Service clerk. “I got up today and when I started hearing the meowing again I said, oh no!”
So the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue came to Seward’s home, threaded their search camera into the wall … and found a second cat.
Then they punched another hole in the wall and gently pulled a grey and white kitten out by her hind legs.
The brother and sister pair were trapped in the walls for several days, and are believed to be just a few weeks old.
Seward said she wasn’t sure how the kittens got there, but she suspects the culprit is a stray female cat that lives on her roof.
“The only thing I can figure is that she must have brought these kittens up there in her mouth when they were a little smaller, and put them up there for safekeeping,” Seward said. Perhaps the kittens made it from the roof into a crawl space, then fell.
Seward said the firefighters really went “above and beyond” to find the kittens.
“Poor house; holes in the walls,” she said. “But it’s worth it to get them out. Hate to think about them staying up there and dying.”
A sheriff’s sergeant arranged for a contractor friend to repair Seward’s walls for free, Jachles said.
By Wednesday afternoon, Seward had found a home for the tiny kittens.
“Problem solved,” she said.