Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Time I Saved an Ungrateful Cat

About 15 years ago I was standing in front of the apartment one of my employees lived in, waiting for him, when I saw one cat chasing another across the street. They began to fight in front of a storm drain, and after about two seconds one fell in. The other ran off.

These drains had the fifty-pound circular iron cover on top of them. I got a crowbar out of my car trunk and pulled the cover up and off to one side. About 12 feet down, at the bottom of a vertical tunnel lined with ancient brick, and in about six inches of water, along with cans and some Styrofoam, was a wet cat, looking up at me.

Now how was I supposed to get this cat out? If I didn’t, he was dead. I looked in my trunk again, and saw I had a big tangle of electrical wire. I lowered it into the drain, and darn if the cat didn’t understand and grab with his claws onto the tangle.

It’s amazing how heavy a wet cat is.

I pulled him up, and as he cleared the top, he tried to jump to the pavement, didn’t make it, and fell right back into the drain again. So I lowered the wire again, and started pulling him up,

As he came up, I noticed his eyes were bulging out of his head. He hadn’t grabbed onto the wire this time. A loop of wire was around his neck, and I was slowly strangling him as he came up. When I got him to the top, I got the wire off of his neck, and in about a nanosecond he took off like a shot.

These days, most of the drain openings have grates over them. I’ve seen openings big enough for a kid to fall in, and I’m sure it has happened more than once in the past. Either that, or Pennywise got them.

Ungrateful cat. Stupid, too. He would have been safe the first time he had just waited a few seconds more.

I prefer dogs.

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