▶️ Sneaky feral feline finally found after roaming home’s heating system

BY DALTON ROTH
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

What started as a good deed….turned into a cat-astrophe when a rescued feral cat somehow opened the heating vent and escaped.

“Last Friday my wife brought home a feral cat and her two kittens. We wanted to get them out of the cold and she was also pregnant again,” said Matthew Lankins of Culver. “We were really concerned because she’s pregnant,” Lankins said. “Being that she’s a momma kitty with who knows how many kittens right now, we didn’t want her to get stuck down there and give birth to the kittens down there– then where do we go?”

The situation quickly turned into a game of cat and mouse.

“I didn’t know where to even start,” Lankins said. “Do I need to get an H-VAC guy here, the fire department, who is it that I call?”

The Lankins moved into the house at the beginning of August and the builder was still working in the area

He came over Monday morning, with the fire department to try and find the purrrr-petrator.

“Anthony and Kirk from the fire department spent 20 minutes under the house, handling the lines, trying to figure out where she was, but they couldn’t locate her,” Lankins said. “So they disconnected the heater vent downstairs at its Y-connector, so that there was room for her to crawl out of the system.”

Jefferson County Fire loaned the Lankins a cat trap to see if the frightened feline would wonder out on her own.

“Right now we just want to give her a chance to maybe come out on her own. As far as her getting stuck, they weren’t too concerned because there is plenty of room for her to wiggle around and navigate through the lines so we’re just giving her a chance for her to get hungry and decide she doesn’t want to be in the vent line anymore,” Lankins said. 

“They say the best ones are usually a handful. This is something we’ll probably be laughing about in six years around the Christmas tree, remembering the time she disappeared into the heating system.”

A late update…the cat was found, safe and sound. And as of Tuesday she has a new name: Houdini.

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