Stormy right after he was rescued
Stormy 10 days later
On Sunday, June 14, Charlie Dewett of Oakland was driving to Laney College to watch his tennis team play when he stopped at a stoplight at the corner of Oak and 7th streets.
" I hard this unbelievably loud cry," he says. "It was like some creature was yelling, 'Help me! Help me!' I pulled over, and I could hear it was coming from a storm drain. I looked down, and there was this baby orange tabby kitten crying."
He managed to squeeze a little food and water through the grate – no easy task, believe me – to keep the kitten alive while he sought help. He called Animal Control, but they're closed on Sundays. He called the police, but no luck there, either.
This went on all day long. Charlie kept going home and coming back to check on the kitten. He was worried because it was turning into a cold night. But when he came back the next morning, the little guy was still alive.
Then he remembered meeting a woman named Gail Churchill, who volunteers for Island Cat Resources and Adoption in Alameda. A quick phone call later, and she was on her way to Oakland with a humane trap.
"We had two problems," Gail says. "One, could the kitten be enticed to go into the trap? And two, who would raise the 300-lb. metal grate on top of the drain? Oakland Fire Station No. 12 to the rescue! Charlie called them, and within 15 minutes they were there with the tools to raise the grate."
They baited the trap with cat food and waited.
"Monday came and went," says Gail. "Tuesday came and went. All this time, Charlie made many trips a day to check on the kitten's well being. Then we noticed the food in the trap was always gone, but the trap stayed open. It became apparent that the kitten was too light to set off the trap door.
"So on Wednesday morning we brought in a different and smaller trap. This time Charlie, along with two very nice BART policemen, lifted the grate, and the trap was lowered into the hole. Success! Within two hours we had the little guy, by now named Stormy, safe in the trap. Firemen from Station 12 again came to lift the trap out of the hole, and Stormy was on his way to my house for a good, warm bath and all the food he wanted!
"Stormy is settling in nicely and will stay with me until he is old enough to be neutered, about 2-3 weeks. At that time he will be put up for adoption, and we will make sure he gets the kind of 'furever' home where he never again has to think about his terrible start in life. Stormy wishes to thank, most of all, Charlie, for hearing his cries, and for never giving up on him. And those of us involved in this three-day ordeal wish to thank BART Police and the dedication of Fire Station No. 12 for their, many trips to move the grate for us."
If you'd like to adopt Stormy, you can check him out at ICRA's website, www.icraeastbay.org, in a couple of weeks. That's also where you can make a donation to this very worthy organization.