Alert water utility staff rescue curious kitten
August 28, 2018

A curious cat owes one of its nine lives to fast-thinking employees with Louisville Water Company (Louisville, Ky.)

Photo/video credits: Louisville Water Company

Chad Harper and Jimmy Stone are serious about their role in improving the public health of their community and spend their days maintaining the water company’s 24,000 public fire hydrants. It’s a big job: an inattentive driver typically runs into a hydrant with a vehicle nearly every day, resulting in a service call to repair a broken hydrant. 

One recent summer afternoon they responded to what they thought was a typical repair call -- until Harper peered into the hole where a fire hydrant once stood and saw a terrified orange tabby kitten crouched at the bottom. He and Stone immediately called for assistance from the City of Louisville’s Metro Animal Services.  

A sergeant with Metro Animal Services wielded a special tool to rescue (see video) the disgruntled kitten from fiveRescue team feet underground in about 10 minutes. Harper and Stone stood by to help load the meowing animal into a carrier. The kitten was transported to a local animal shelter and quickly adopted by a loving family who named it “Melo.”

Harper and Stone have repaired fire hydrants for years and found other unusual things – snakes, toys and miniature cars. This was the first feline. 

“This was one of the more interesting ends to a work day,” Harper said. “There were a few nervous moments, but the little guy is a tough one.  I’m glad we were able to get him out of a tight situation.” 

Louisville Water Company was chartered in 1854 and opened the historic Pumping Station No. 1 in 1860. Today, the company proudly serves nearly a million customers with its trademarked Louisville pure tap® water, which won the American Water Works Association’s best-tasting tap water contest in 2008. 

Louisville Water Company supports its community through water payment assistance, water education, the charitable work of the Louisville Water Foundation – and rescuing kittens.