Kitten Rescued From Storm Drain After Queens Man Tweets at Cops
By Alexandra Leon
First published on Oct. 6, 2015 on NBCNewYork.com
A kitten’s meow for help got the attention of one Queens resident who took to Twitter to save the tiny feline.
Vahan Avagyan, a small business owner in Queens, said he heard the kitten “rapidly meowing” as he was walking his dog on 72nd Street and Penelope Avenue in Middle Village around 6 p.m.
The meowing was coming from a storm drain, but the grate was pinned under a car, Avagyan said.
He tried calling 3-1-1 and several animal rescue groups, but he said no one offered to rescue the cat that night.
“One organization said they would send someone in the morning, which was ridiculous to me,” Avagyan said.
That’s when he took matters into his own hands.
“I ended up tweeting because there was no way I could go home and go to sleep knowing the cat was down there,” Avagyan said.
He tweeted at the NYPD’s 104th precinct, using his handle @vahanavagyan, and cops sent him a direct message saying they would send a rescue team.
Responding officers were able to find the car’s owner and get him to move the car so they could remove the storm drain grate, but the kitten was stuck deep inside. Neighbors tried to lure the cat out with pet food, to no avail.
Another rescue team was called in and they were eventually able to scare the cat out by making noise with a compressed air machine. Avagyan caught the kitten as she ran out of the storm drain.
The entire rescue mission took almost four hours, Avagyan said.
The kitten, which was soaking wet, was taken to Blue Pear Vet in Forest Hills by animal rescuer Phyllis Taiano of Four Paws Sake NYC. She was named Penelope, after the street where she was rescued.
Taiano said in an email that Penelope has a good disposition.
"She's adoptable," she wrote. "There's not hissing, there's no clawying, she's totally accepting love."
Anyone interested in adopting the kitty can visit Four Paws Sake NYC's website.