The cat's cries for help can be heard coming from the storm drain, but the cat won't come to the humans who have tried to reach for it. It's been trapped there for more than half of a day, a dark refuge - after an act of cruelty. "I saw somebody throw something out, cross the street. Cars in front of me were stopping. Then I saw a little tiny kitten, running in the cross walk," said Kara Irwin.
Irwin is a volunteer cat rescuer and happened to be driving on Herndon when she saw the cat in trouble. When she stopped her car to help, the scared kitty jumped into the storm drain. "I'm not sure if the "thunk" when he landed was him or my heart. Because what do you do?" said Irwin.
An all out rescue attempt followed as Irwin reached out to her other cat rescue contacts by phone and on Facebook. "I put it on there and I got boom, boom, boom! Responses, 'call the city of Fresno'. 'Call a plumber!' Phone numbers, said fellow volunteer Lisa Boyajian.
Those calls led to the SPCA and Fresno Firefighters, who eventually came out three times. Hours after the creature's fateful jump, a trap with cat food inside was finally placed at the bottom of the storm drain. But as they lowered the trap, the cat's cries could no longer be heard.
After it got dark, the meowing returned, as well as the firefighters. But again, they left, with no sign of the kitten.
The SPCA will be back Wednesday morning to check on the trap, but it could take several days for the cat to get hungry and go inside the trap.