Today, a co-worker and I headed out to take the trash to our back dumpster. Usually I leave it for Karina (my coworker) since she likes to take a smoke break then, but the trash was piling up all over - as you can imagine it would when cleaning up after about 100 cats a day!!! So, anyway, Karina and I headed out, tossed the trash in the dumpster and I went to our storage shed to take some litter bags in to fill up our litter containers inside. Karina was still smoking, so we were chatting when after a minute or two of that, I hear a very loud, very pathetic MEOW.
Yes, I questioned my sanity ... why think it odd to hear cats when THEY'RE ALL OVER? But we were outside, away from the solariums (our fenced in/walled up outside lounges for our sanctuary cats) and the meow sounded so close.
I paused, looked at Karina, looked over to the solariums and said, "I don't think that came from over there ... I think that came from over by the dumpster." Now, whether I heard the next "meow" first or stepped forward and then the cat cried again, I found the source - a little, long-haired black cat IN the storm drain.
Karina went running inside to get help while I got down on the ground and stuck my arm into the storm drain to see how the cat was - skinny, lots of stuff stuck in his/her hair and VERY affectionate. He/she was jumping up at my hand, head-butting it for love, etc. I was able to scruff the cat and pull her/him out of the storm drain. Danielle, another coworker, came out then with a carrier. She asked if we should try to carrier. In hindsight, I should have just carried the damn cat inside, but we went for the carrier to protect my arms in case she freaked and, generally, just as common thought on how to move a cat.
Bad thought! I got the cat almost all the way in, she/he FREAKED out, scrambled out of my grasp - which was amazing for a freaking out cat, I still had the cat's back end in a scruffed grab as it was back in the storm drain. It darted into the tunnel and that was the last we saw of the cat.
Don't think the adventure stopped there, we tried to think of anything we could use to pick up the storm drain grate ... even joking that Ginny should tie a rope to the back of her SUV and the top of the grate and pull it off (obviously that wouldn't work since it needs to be pried UP before it could be dragged off). In the end, I was cold (no jacket the whole time since I was expecting to just take out the trash and not some ridiculous cat wrangling adventure), the cat was definitely gone and a trap was set ... no luck yet and I'm so angry I didn't just take the cat inside in my arms. At least if she/he got away then it would have been in the building for us to get instead of lost in some underground maze of storm drain tunnels.
Apparently this is a cat that's been seen before ... down the road more than around us, but the storm drains are apparently crazy, long, connected tunnels underground. We had a trap set all day and I'm hoping he/she comes back because they were very affectionate.