Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 25, 2013

By a whisker: Kiki's misadventure leads to rescue

By Judy Wakefield
jwakefield@andovertownsman.com

---- — When a friendly Karlton Circle neighborhood dog chased a much-loved family cat named Kiki last week, the cat scampered while the dog returned home.

But concern grew among Kiki’s family when the 4-year-old black cat failed to come pawing back through the door later in the day last Wednesday, April 17.

“We were worried ... especially my daughter, who is 10,” Steve Andrews said.

Kiki is used to playing with dogs and gets along well with the family canine. So it’s not unusual to see her romping around with dogs in the Karlton Circle neighborhood, where the Andrews family lives. Eventually, she always makes her way back home, Andrews said.

But after she had gone missing for a day, her owners called Andover police and the neighborhood’s Internet community, Sunsetrock.com, was notified. The “missing black cat” signs were also made and posted.

Not long after, a neighbor who was walking her dogs last Thursday, April 18, heard a cat meowing for help from a storm drain. It was Kiki and her head was stuck in one of the grate’s cross-sections.

“She was stuck in a storm drain ... apparently, in her flight to safety, she ran up a storm drain culvert behind our house ... this grate was on the next street over from where we live,” Andrews said.

Andover police arrived to rescue Kiki, lifting the grate off the storm drain with the still-stuck cat hanging from it.

“Her hind legs had to prop her up (on a very convenient ledge located in the storm drain) or she would have been strangled,” Andrews said of his 11-pound cat.

A neighbor called a local veterinarian friend, Dr. Meg Randazza, who arrived with lots of Vaseline and managed to free Kiki.

Once back on all fours, Kiki was examined and is now doing fine, Andrews said.

“Our family is extremely grateful .... Andover is a collection of resourceful neighborhoods stocked with talented and compassionate neighbors,” Andrews wrote in an email.