UPDATE: The kitten stuck in the pipe has been rescued. The people at Greenway Home Services did a great job and we are told the owner is adopting the kitten.
(Memphis) In a rescue effort lasting hours and going into the night, volunteers tried all kinds of strategies to save a cat that had gotten stuck in a clean-out pipe for days.
The Humane Society led the effort, with the assistance of Greenway Plumbing. Hill Plumbing and the city of Memphis public works department were also on the scene for a short while.
Workers set up road blocks near the intersection of Janice Avenue and Waring Road for part of the afternoon.
"Insanely frustrating," said Kerry Sneed of the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County.
But Sneed said she loves a challenge. When the cat left the clean-out pipe for the sewer line, Sneed even used an iPhone application with cat sounds to lure it back to the point of entry.
Neighbor Al Woodruff said, "I've seen everything in the world, I thought, but there's always something new coming up."
It was in fact something new for Sneed, since most of the animals she'd seen stuck in drains had a much wider exit than this pipe only a few inches in diameter.
But a worker with Greenway plumbing said he had saved a cat like this before.
He described his strategy: "we're going to get to the bottom of this pipe, cut the pipe open, and let the cat come out."
A concerned neighbor stopped by to look.
"It is horrible," said Kriste Park, "That kitten needs to be saved. Not left down there."
Neighbor Richard Bishop said he could appreciate saving a life, but described himself more as a dog person.
Bishop called the major rescue action "comical."
Sneed explains that once cameras were dropped into the pipe to see where the cat was, "you see the face, and she, he, is obviously alive and obviously in distress. To walk away is not an option."
All the workers with the plumbing companies and the Humane Society volunteered their time.