We had a bit of an adventure with some of our fosters yesterday…
To set the scene: I am in bed, since last Wednesday I have been very sick. My older sister is down in the living room, watching TV with my Dad. My younger sister and my mother have gone out shopping with my Grandmother. We have a large kennel in the living room where three feral kittens are sleeping, we’ve been charged with taming them so that they can get adopted. They’re very adorable, but aggressive.
We decide to let them out so that they can run around the house for a bit, all the dogs were outside and the older cats were fast asleep, so there wouldn’t be any danger to them. Most of our house is kitten-proofed because of all the fosters anyway, so they couldn’t go chewing up wires or crawling into tiny spaces and getting stuck.
Or so we thought.
*dramatic music plays*
We first noticed how quiet it got. One minute the kittens had been running around, hissing at each other in the dining room, and the next minute there was complete silence. One of the calmer kittens, sage, had crawled back into his kennel to take a nap and didn’t move from that spot for the rest of the day. The other two kittens were no where to be found. Where had they gone?
Maria, Dad, and I started a search around the house. We checked under beds, behind the fridge, in the garage, outside, inside, the basement, the attic, inside the cabinets and just about anywhere a tiny kitten could theoretically fit its head and squeeze in. Two hours were spent searching for the tiny demons, to no avail.
We all stood in the dining room talking. Had the kittens gotten outside? Was there somewhere we hadn’t checked? Were they hurt?
We all stopped. An echoey meow had just filled the room. As one, we all stepped forward and pulled back the bench seat in front of the window in the dining room. The one place in the entire house that wasn’t kitten-proofed, and the kittens had found it. There was an uncovered air vent, maybe two and half inches wide, beneath the bench. There was maybe two inches of space between the floor and the bottom of the bench, not a lot of space, but just enough for a tiny kitten.
Being asthmatic and sick, Dad and Maria place me at the site of the incident while they go down into the basement and try to scare the kittens back up. Once thing to remember about my house is that it is not only quite old, it had also been renovated many times. There’s a doorway in my room that doesn’t lead anywhere, pipes sticking randomly from some walls, a ghost in the attic, and (most relevant to the story) air ducts that aren’t connected to anything.
Obviously, I call mom to inform her of the situation while Dad and Maria start banging on the pipes to try and persuade the kittens to come out. Mom’s phone goes straight to voicemail.
While Dad and Maria are busy poking a broom into the air ducts to push out the cat, I’m sitting on the other side, ready to catch the cat should it come running back out. We can hear one of the kittens meowing. I try to call my mom again, but it still goes straight to voicemail.
I’m beginning to get worried about the kittens as the temperatures start to rise, my biggest concern being that if the kittens get sick we might not be able to get them out in time. This worry creeps into the many, many voicemail messages I left my mom:
“Hi mom! The kittens are still stuck in the heat vents, Dad and Maria are trying to get them out. Could you try and return my messages, please? Bye!” Sent at 11:17 am
“Hi! It’s starting to get really hot and I’m getting worried about the kittens, but I don’t want to have to call an emergency number, bye!” Sent at 11:30 am
“Mom, I thought the reason we got the phones was so that we could call each other in case of an emergency, this is an emergency, why aren’t you answering?” Sent at 11:45 am
And so on.
At this point, the temperature had exceeded 95 degrees and we were getting really worried. Dad came to the rescue though. Being an engineer, he taped our old pool net to a broom handle and managed to snag Rose from the air vent, Rose was covered in lint.
Lavender had crawled up one of the air vents that didn’t lead to anywhere, so she was going to be another problem. We were unsure where the end of this air vent was, and if she decided to crawl out the top she could have gotten herself lost in the walls, and who knows what would have happened then.
After leaving approximately fifteen more calls to mom (each one getting less and less polite as my desperation grew and grew) I circled the upper floors of the house, looking for any of the vents that we might have missed, that Lavender could crawl out of.
Meanwhile, Dad had figured out a way to get the cat out. He managed to pull the vent itself out of the wall (it wasn’t attached to anything, remember) and started shaking it roughly. Soon enough, Lavender popped out the other end. She as also filthy.
The escapees were given baths (much blood was shed that day) and were put back in their kennel. Maria and I both went through the house and covered up every single vent once again, along with the ones in the basement.
My mom got home right around this time, and didn’t realize anything was wrong until she was almost home because her phone had been uncharged. Thankfully, balance was restored to the force and the kittens made it out of their adventure safely.