The talk of the town in at least one community in West Virginia this weekend is a viral video that was made at a volunteer fire department showing the efforts of the firemen to rescue a kitten stuck in a section of pipe using a leaf blower.
A Lincoln County kitten may be missing one of its nine lives following the creative rescue attempt by the West Hamlin Volunteer Fire Department (WHVFD) to save the cat from its recent predicament.
The kitten was a stray and a part of litter that was brought to the fire department by a local police office. In no time they began exploring their new surroundings in the fire department they were temporarily calling home. The feline and her litter mates were playing around some uncovered electrical conduit in an area of the fire department where construction is underway and fell into the pipe and was unable to climb out.
The forlorn feline remained in the pipe for many hours while the firemen attempted to rescue her. They used strings and sticks and tried to coax her closer to the top of the pipe to no avail. Other suggestions and ideas were deemed to dangerous and could possibly hurt or kill the trapped kitten.
That's when one ingenious firefighter suggested blowing her out of the pipe with leaf blower. As unconventional as it seems the firefighters decided to give it a try and sent one of their group to the other side of the building with a leaf blower and instructions on how to safely attempt the rescue.
The electric conduit pipe was reported to be 80 to 90 foot long with a bend in one section, but the first responders determined the kitten's best chance of being extracted from the pipe was to 'blow her out.'
After a first attempt through the wrong pipe sent debris flying into the air the operator of the leaf blower zeroed in on the correct pipe and in a matter of seconds the little kitty was sent flying into the air and safely landed in the hands of the awaiting firemen.
The fireman had to tightly hold the terrified kitten to keep her from running in every direction and possibly getting stuck again in the same pipe or heading outside into the road.
The innovative approach to rescuing the kitten has received thousands of comments on YouTube, including a number of negative ones by some who think the cat was abused in some way by the firemen's last resort rescue. The negative comments have been quickly countered by members of the fire department who have been chastised for their uncontrollable laughter upon seeing the kitten 'pop' out of the pipe into the air.
The video uploaded Brandon Davis has been viewed almost a million times since it was posted on the Internet. It has been listed on the top trending video on the popular web-site for weeks and has also been featured on television.
The West Hamlin firemen have reported that the kitten was not hurt in the extraction and has been adopted by one of the firemen and is doing fine now after needing to be bottle-fed until it was weaned. All of the stray kittens brought to the the fire department have found homes and at least one of the litter mates was adopted by a another WHVFD first responder.