By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Residents and local agencies came together to rescue a kitten from a storm drain in Tucumcari.
The kitten was raised from the storm drain Thursday morning in a cat trap that was set the night before by concerned citizens and local officials.
On Wednesday, children taking part in a workout program at a gym on the 100 block of East Main heard the kitten crying and discovered it was in a storm drain under the street.
“Jory Donovan came in and said he heard a cat, I told him he was crazy,” said Joanie Grice, a 12-year-old Tucumcari resident.
Donovan could not be reached immediately for comment.
Grice said she walked outside with Donovan and began to make noises like a cat. She said within a few minutes the kitten began to answer back.
Grice said the kittens cries were coming from the storm drain directly below them. She said once they realized they couldn’t get the cat on their own, they knew they needed help.
“Leaving the station on my way home I saw several people on the curb who were flagging me down,” said Tucumcari Fire Chief Shane Warner.
Warner said he stopped to see what was going on and after observing the situation, he knew that heavy rescue equipment was needed. He said he went back to the station and returned with the Jaws of Life and a chain that he used to move the grate weighing several hundred pounds.
Grice said efforts to remove the kitten began once the grate was removed. She said the noises from the moving of the grate and the commotion created by onlookers frightened the kitten and drove it further down the drain.
“I was driving by the gym with my son and saw everyone gathered around the storm drain,” said Quay County Under Sheriff Dennis Garcia, who said he stopped to see what was going on and then began to help in the rescue effort. Garcia explained that he came up with a plan after realizing the kitten wouldn’t get close enough to retrieve it.
Garcia said he got a cat trap from the Tucumcari Animal Control and placed it in the drain. He said Grice went into the storm drain and placed food and water hoping to lure the kitten into the trap. The plan worked and the kitten eventually was rescued.
“I knew it was possible to rescue the kitten; nothing is impossible through Christ,” Grice said.
Garcia said Tucumcari Animal Control officer Mike Martinez has the kitten and is currently contacting adoption agencies to find the kitten a home.