PORTLAND, Ore. - Firefighters used shovels, a plumbing company's tiny camera and other equipment in a delicate rescue that saved a furry victim from an uncertain fate Sunday evening.
Portland Fire and Rescue crews were called to a home near NE 118th and NE Sandy Boulevard at about 7:30 p.m. after they said a homeowner reported hearing a kitten calling for help in the walls of a basement.
Firefighters said Apollo Drain and Rooter Service workers joined in the rescue effort after firefighters determined the stranded feline was in one of four deep drainage pipes.
Using the plumbers "snake camera," firefighters found which pipe the cat was in. They started digging but still could not reach the tiny cat.
Crews then began pumping air into the pipe from the opposite end and said the cat slowly worked it's way back to the opening.
Six hours after the rescue effort began and with the enticement of a bit of sausage, firefighter Scott Pearson was able to free the kitten, which firefighters named "Champ."
"It was scared and hungry", Pearson said, "but I'm sure that it was glad to be out of that dark, damp hole."
The Oregon Humane Society is now caring for Champ. Employees there estimate she's about three weeks old.
David Lytle with the humane society said Champ is a Tabby/Tortoise Shell mix. She does not have any injuries from her six-hour ordeal.
She is very friendly and purring a lot, Lytle said.
Champ will be available for adoption in about a month after she gains enough weight to be spayed.