September 27, 2022 at 1:47 p.m.
Pumpkin the kitten has a home – and life – thanks to Melrose firefighters.
The afternoon of Sept. 10 the fire department was called to rescue a kitten in a Melrose storm drain after it fell through the slots.
“We’ve rescued other animals,” firefighter Carl Worms said, but never a kitten that he knows of.
Fire Chief Tom Budde verified that during his 20 years on the department this is the first time firefighters rescued a cat or any animal from a drain.
“One time we had to rescue a loon from Little Birch Lake in the winter,” Budde said.
The recent rescue started after a person out walking reported to the sheriff’s department that they heard a “cat crying,” Budde said.
Firefighters were dispatched to the area and discovered a cat had fallen close to seven feet to the bottom of the drain.
“We removed the drain cover and waited for the cat to come out. That didn’t work, so we removed the drain cover from the other side of the street and sprayed water in the drain,” Budde said. “We had a firefighter (Angel Vargas) in the drain to catch the cat as it came floating over to the other drain.”
Once the kitten was removed, what to do with it became a concern, Worms said. Looking around the area, it did not seem like anyone was missing a kitten.
Firefighter Vargas came to the rescue.
“Angel could not let it go, so he took it home,” Budde said.
On Sept. 19, Vargas said the kitten, who they named Pumpkin, is adapting well to its new home, “even with the dogs.”
It was a “purr”fect rescue.