Updated: Aug 28, 2021
We took a few days off from work to tackle house projects and unexpectedly we also rescued a dog and a kitten. The dog was picked up by my spouse (aka "Food Feeder 2") and the kids who were supposed to hit up the hardware store, but ended scooping up a small dog along an extremely busy road in the middle of a hot summer day. She froze with fear when my daughter ("Food Feeder 3") picked her up. So instead of getting hardware supplies, we got a dog.
She got a bath and after a lot of shampoo, she still was dirty! It took two more baths to get her fully cleaned. She was introduced to cat food, but mostly she wanted to sleep. We tried to imagine how she could have ended up where she did, but we realized she didn't come from some place good more than likely. She was frightened of objects if they were raised towards her and would cower from us for more than a few days. Her little paws were calloused and she was severely dehydrated.
Regardless, I wanted to see if anyone was looking for her so I scoured social media lost dog and pet postings. Something strange I realized, is that there were not nearly as many lost cat listings as there were for dogs. Not seeing any listings for her, I began asking friends if they were interested in adopting. There were some hesitant interests, but a lot of ambition in telling me to check lost dog postings. Never does this happen when I find a stray cat. I wondered if people were better to dogs than cats and despite all the cat social media craze, dogs were still revered as "man's best friend" while cats are perceived as opportunist and resilient creatures that will take the best offer. From experience, it is quite the opposite!
After a several days of no luck in finding her a new family, we switched from calling her "dog" to calling her "Zuul" primarily for our own entertainment, but there is some resemblance, don't you think? :)
Later that evening, Food Feeder 2 and I went to do a clothing donation drop at drop bin. It was after 10pm and on the drive I spotted normal looking people sitting around an open storm water manhole on the sidewalk. Immediately, we pulled over because I knew it was an animal rescue of some sort in the works. It turns out it was an itty bitty kitten! That kitten refused to come out of a 12-inch in diameter storm water pipe despite a buffet of canned tuna and cat food. It had some lungs on it, because it cried for hours!
The little guy didn't belong to any of the people attempting to rescue it, but by midnight most people headed home. My kids showed along with a good friend and we stuck around until that little guy decided to come out near 130am! It was almost comical because he quietly walked up to my legs dangling down into the manhole and just sat there. It was my son, Food Feeder 4, who saw him and then after my daughter Food Feeder 3 pulled him out through the gutter as I blocked him from going back into the storm water pipe, the kitten seem relieved to be rescued. I think we were played the whole time! Pretty quickly he began purring and rubbing against us. He stayed with us for about a week until the friend who was there helping had all the goodies for a kitten and took him under her wing in her home. He was named Stormy Piper - pretty fitting!
It was hard to see him go as he was the cutest and silly kittens I have ever known! We stayed up until 4am playing with him after he was rescued. The Crookedjaw Cranks weren't too sure about him, but Zuul and him got on pretty well. Even though it was all unexpected, I knew it was destined the little dog and kitten were rescued by us. it also made for a nice sending off of the summer as school would start soon for the kids. I also should mention everyone attempted calling fire, police, public works, streets dept. and even knocking on a fire station door. No one was willing to help, so we did what any good person would have and got to work by building contraptions to reach him or climbing down a 12 feet manhole trying to get to the kitten from a different side of his narrow storm drain. Of course, as you know already, nothing worked except for patience...and insomnia. :)