When a woman in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, heard mysterious meowing coming from her bathroom, she originally thought there was a kitten stuck in her drain. But after her landlord’s suggestion to run water to “try to flush it out” was unsuccessful, she called the authorities to investigate further.
“We were all standing in the bathroom and you could hear it, and we were asking each other, ‘Where is that coming from?,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s public information officer, Greg May, told ABC News. “We isolated it to what we thought was the attic. We popped open the vent fan and it was meowing and we just couldn’t get it to come to us.”
The apartment where the noise was coming from didn’t have access to the attic, so the firefighters went door-to-door to locate the tenant with entry into the crawlspace.
“We searched all around banging on each door,” said May. “We woke the homeowner up and said, ‘Hey listen, we need to get into the attic space. And sure enough, the kitten was hiding up there. There was a vent pipe isolated off to the side and the kitten got up there and fell down into the vent.”
They believe the kitten climbed up some trees that were by the complex, got onto the roof, and “since kittens are curious, it was looking around the vent and fell down into it,” he explained. “The pipe goes from the roof straight down through the attic into the bathroom. It probably fell five or six feet down.”
One of the firefighters, Eric Fillyaw, crawled into the attic space and was able to shake the tiny, black kitten out, carrying it down to safety.
“It was a little kitten in bad shape,” May said. “All its claws were gnawed down to the nubs because it had been trying to claw out.”
The response team immediately drove the animal, now affectionately nicknamed “Piper” because it was stuck in a pipe, to the Broward County Animal Care, where they discovered he is only about a month old.
“The kitten is going to a rescue group because it wasn’t old enough to be adopted yet,” Lisa Mendheim, public education coordinator for Broward County Animal Care, said. “It’s too young and underweight. It’s only a pound. Typically they need to be 2 pounds or 2 months old to be adopted.”
Mendheim says their rescue partner, the Humane Society of Broward County, will now take care of the kitten’s medical needs and will place it for adoption at a later date.
“You could tell he definitely needed a good meal and some water,” she said. “He’ll be fine. He just needs to beef it up a little bit.”