We love hearing stories about people who go out of their way to help animals in need. Sometimes animals get stuck in hard-to-reach places and good samaritans come to the rescue.
And some go even further, by giving these rescued animals a loving home. That was the case for one firefighter, who fell in love with a kitten after rescuing her from a storm drain.
According to a Facebook post, nonprofit group Iowa STARS for Animals received a message from a woman named Stephanie, who reported hearing the sound of a cat crying coming from the sewer.
According to The Dodo, the kitten was trapped for four days, and no one was able to reach him. But then Tyson Hood, a lieutenant of the local fire department, heard the story on Facebook and volunteered to help.
Tyson said he did not have much experience with cats, and was warned that the kitten would likely be scared of him, but he couldn’t help but try to save the trapped kitten.
“I’m a bit of a sucker for animals in distress,” Tyson told The Dodo.
Stephanie, who had been feeding the kitten while he was stuck, showed Tyson the spot and the firefighter got to work. He removed the grate, and they lured the kitten out of the tunnel with tuna.
Tyson told The Dodo that the kitten sensed it was a trap, but he ate the tuna long enough for him to cover the tunnel with a net, preventing the cat from escaping and allowing Tyson to catch him.
Despite his initial fearfulness, the kitten quickly warmed up to his rescuers. “As soon as he was out of the sewer and in a safe space, he was an absolute lover — nonstop cuddles,” Tyson said.
“After that smelly little monster loved all over me, I sort of fell for him.”
But Tyson wasn’t in the market for a new pet, and instead Stephanie took him home. However, the situation did not work out, as Stephanie “felt he wasn’t a good fit for her family,” according to Iowa STARS.
After Stephanie reached out to Tyson to see if he would adopt the cat, the firefighter relented, unable to resist his connection with the tiny cat.
Tyson has now adopted the kitten, who he named “Walnut” after the street he was found on. It’s inspiring that Tyson gave Walnut a home after saving his life, and the two have continued to have an inseparable bond.
“I fully believe he must have had some sort of emotional imprint of good times cuddling on my shoulders because that’s the only place he wants to be if I’m sitting still,” Tyson told The Dodo. “He purrs like a chainsaw and headbutts like a rhinoceros and for some reason insists on sleeping splayed across my neck.”
“I feel like we understand each other, and we both had a pretty darn good day when our paths crossed.”
It was a very happy ending, one that was clearly meant to be. Iowa STARS praised Tyson for his kindhearted actions.
“The fact that a firefighter adopted a small kitten he rescued out of a storm sewer is truly heart warming,” the nonprofit wrote. “I hope those folks who work in fire and law enforcement occupations do this more often. Tyson is a fantastic role model of toughness mixed with a lot of compassion for this tiny precious life.”
“‘Congratulations’ Tyson on your new kitten. Happy Trails to you and Walnut,” they added, while encouraging people to rescue pets and “adopt, not shop.”
Thank you to Tyson for not only saving this poor trapped kitten from the sewer but giving him a loving forever home! It was definitely meant to be!
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