The cat rescuer
Plumber David Radey discovered a new use for his sewer camera Thursday afternoon in White Rock.
It turns out the snake-like video device the Pitt Meadows resident uses to inspect pipes from the inside is also handy for locating a lost kitten after it falls down a furnace vent.
Suzanne Burke was cat-sitting three-month-old Timbit for her father, Sonny Burke, when the curious calico cat managed to lift up a vent cover early Thursday morning and fall inside.
Burke could hear the cat's panicked wailing, but couldn't reach her.
After several plumbing companies turned her down, Milani Plumbing in Burnaby sent out Radey, a cat owner himself, who told Burke and her father that he didn't plan to leave without finding Timbit.
It took about seven hours of drilling holes and cutting plasterboard before Radey located the cat in the ceiling of the antique store underneath Burke's Johnston Road apartment.
When Timbit's face suddenly popped up on the sewer camera video monitor, Burke gasped and started calling the kitten.
That, and a tin of cat food, was enough to lure the small cat close enough to the entry hole for the video camera for Radey to grab her.
He pulled the uninjured Timbit out and presented her to Burke and her father.
"I'm ridiculously happy," a grateful Suzanne Burke said.
Sonny Burke called Radey a man with a "good heart."
Radey said he was "just an average Joe doing his job."
It was the first time he's ever been involved in extricating a trapped cat, Radey said, adding he may amend his resumé to include "cat retrieval" on his list of skills.
Below: Suzanne Burke reacts to seeing her father's cat, Timbit, on a sewer-camera video monitor. The device found the missing feline in the ceiling of the antique store underneath her White Rock apartment. Burke was cat-sitting for her father when the curious three-month old kitten managed to fall down a heating vent. Dan Ferguson photo
Below: Three-month-old Timbit suddenly appears on the monitor of the sewer camera plumber David Radey used to locate the kitten in the ceiling of a White Rock antique store. The kitten fell into a furnace vent in the apartment upstairs. Dan Ferguson photo