Farmer rescues kittens from flood — with broom handle and baby wipe container
It's every cat's worst nightmare, being trapped and surrounded by rising water
A Sheffield farmer got creative to rescue two kittens stuck in the walls of his goat barn as it filled with flood water.
Duncan Bridges and his stepdaughter Jaelyn, 7, were getting ready Wednesday to feed the goats and horses on the family farm along Route 105, where the St. John River and Grand Lake are both high.
As they prepared the supplies, they heard crying coming from a corner of the goat barn.
"I heard cats meowing," said the 24-year-old Bridges, who has lived on the farm his entire life. "We had to put our ear against the wall and look for them."
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"I took matters into my own hands," he said. "It was quite the rescue mission."
In his rubber boots, Bridges removed part of the inside wall and used his phone flashlight to locate the two kittens.
Then he sent down a small, makeshift plastic bucket, attached to plastic rope.
If we weren't there I don't know how long it would have lasted because cats aren't big on water.-Duncan Bridges
"The first little guy walked right into it but the second guy was a little harder."
Bridges needed another idea.
He made a scoop out of a baby wipe container and a broom handle and lowered it down.
"If we weren't there, I don't know how long it would have lasted because cats aren't big on water," he said.
Bridges said the two kittens were newborns and wild. A third kitten had already died.
"I'm thinking that [the mother] had the kittens in there, went out to find food, and the water came up so quick she couldn't get back in," Bridges said.
"We thought, better get them out of there, better get them out than stay there and die."
Shelter on the case
Bridges placed the kittens in a box and turned them into the Oromocto SPCA on Thursday morning .
"They needed somebody that knew what they were doing with them," he said. "It was a stress off my shoulders."
When the kittens arrived at the shelter, they were crying.
"That's always a good sign because that means they're alive and hungry and we like that," said Oromocto SPCA manager Tracy Marcotullio.
Bridges said everyone was grateful for the kittens. There was a lot of smiling and cheering.
"They definitely needed help as soon as possible," said Marcotullio. "They probably wouldn't have lived much longer.
Resting in warm beds
They're not out of the woods yet but the SPCA is hopeful they will be adopted in eight weeks.
About 10 years ago, Bridges and his cousins found another litter of wild kittens inside his barn.
They ended up keeping the cats at home. This Bridges and Jaelyn knew they couldn't keep the latest kittens because they already have a cat, two horses and three goats at their home, where the water is still high.