Los Angeles-based animal rescuer Eldad Hagar has spent years scouring all corners of the sprawling, concrete metropolis of Southern California. Saving dogs is his specialty, but he’s been known to extend his help to other living creatures from time to time. Recording his rescue missions, and posting them online, has made the group he founded, Hope For Paws, famous around the world.
Tracking down homeless stray dogs and cats can get tricky. They often find the most obscure nooks to hide in in order to find safety—it’s an urban jungle out there. A recent call had Hagar searching for a stray feline family somewhere he probably least expected.
The caller reported hearing meowing sounds coming from their attic. By the sounds of things, it might have been a whole litter of cats; could a stray mother cat have given birth up in their attic?
Hagar arrived at the home, along with one of his helpers, JoAnn Wiltz, who happens to be an expert cat catcher. They entered the home, and the owner showed them to the attic trapdoor—which Hagar had to stand up on a chair placed on a bed to access.
But as soon as he popped the hatch and peered in with his flashlight, he was suddenly spooked by two glowing green eyes that practically made him jump with surprise.
“Ooow! The mom is right there. She’s going to murder me,” he said, as they were, after all, planning to seize her entire litter of kittens. Then he got an idea; Hagar popped open the hatch again, and this time he placed a big flashlight right in the cat’s eyes to keep her at bay. He quickly noticed that there were a whole pile of kittens on the opposite side of the hatch, nestled in between bundles of yellow fiberglass. JoAnn was ready, and Hagar handed each one down, one by one.
“Kitten number one … kitten number two … ”
Soon, they were all safely placed inside a pet carrier. But catching the mother was a different story. She was deeper inside the attic. It was a low attic, and all of the insulation would make chasing her down impossible.
They tried to lure her with the sound of kittens crying from their phone, but she was too wary to fall for that.
As they were returning to their car with the kittens in hand, they spotted the mother leaping up on the roof of the house. And then they got an idea: they would try to lure the mom using her kittens as bait; they would use a dog trap (essentially a cage with a trapdoor), which she would need to enter in order to reach them.
So, they set up the trap with the kittens as bait—before setting up their camera to record the catch—and then ran off to hide so that the mom would not expect any danger. And within just a few minutes, the momma cat was flirting with the bait, tentatively placing her paws in the cage … before, “Snap!” The door slammed down behind her.
“Oh, hi Momma,” said JoAnn, coming out of her hiding place to greet her. Of course, the rescuers meant no harm. The hardest part of the rescue was always convincing the dogs of that fact, though. She brought out one of the kittens to show the mom that they were okay and in good hands.
Soon, that became unnecessary, though; they were all brought together at Kitt Crusaders cat foster home, where they would find temporary shelter, safe and sound.
The mother was named Maryland; her kitties were named Memphis, Miami, Malibu, Charlotte, Vista, and Phoenix—and Maryland even adopted one more kitten that JoAnn found.
The cat family will get medical treatment, food, and a warm place to sleep until the day they are adopted into their forever home.
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | Hope For Paws – Official Rescue Channel