Kitten survives the Ides of March thanks to Menlo Park firefighters | March 20, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - March 20, 2019

Kitten survives the Ides of March thanks to Menlo Park firefighters

A tiny black kitten that had slipped into a drain pipe and ended up 14 feet underground was rescued by persistent Menlo Park Fire Protection District firefighters on Friday, March 15.

Responding to a late afternoon call from a Selby Lane resident who said she had heard a kitten crying for hours, firefighters used a cell phone camera to take video inside the drain pipe that showed the tiny black kitten in a drain pipe that had a concrete deck above it.

San Mateo County animal control officials tried unsuccessfully to extract the kitten for more than a half hour and then called the firefighters back to try again.

Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said It took more than an hour for firefighters to snare the kitten with twine tied in a loop.

Probationary Firefighter Ryle Fitzgerald was given credit for the rescue, Chief Schapelhouman said, and was dubbed "the cat whisperer" by his fire crew and the animal control officers. Fitzgerald is considering adopting the kitten.

"It's amazing all of the strange predicaments both humans and animals can get themselves into. Just when I think we've seen it all, something new comes along," Chief Schapelhouman said.

Schapelhouman added that all fire units "remained available for priority emergencies during this incident."

— By Barbara Wood

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