Earlier this week, the FDNY shared some good news we could really use: A tale of how firefighters rescued a teeny little kitten from a vehicle—and how one of the firefighters decided to adopt him!
“We got a call for a cat that was stuck in a car," Firefighter Daniel Wiwczar of Ladder 2 said. "We responded and we were able to see the cat was under the hood. He had a high fever, was lethargic, and needed to get healthy. We got the cat out and Small Door Veterinary took him in."
Wiwczar continued, "I knew right when I pulled him out that I wanted to adopt him, so two weeks later I was back to take Franklin home."
Franklin! This adorable furry monster is named FRANKLIN! We needed more details, so we contacted Small Door Veterinary to find out more. It turns out that a woman, Jenna, was walking near 6th Avenue in the 40s when she saw a kitten emerge out of an Uber driver's wheel well. The kitten darted from car to car, and Jenna and another passerby tried to corral him. Finally, Jenna was able to get firefighters from Ladder 2 to help block part of the street and open the hood of a car that the kitten can crawled into. Her coworker took video of the rescue from their office:
An animal emergency facility checked out the kitten and recommended he go to Small Door Veterinary for general care. The Small Door staff estimated that Franklin, a feral kitten and not very social, was about seven weeks old—and he had a fever of 107 degrees as well as worms. Over his two weeks there, he recovered and grew from 0.75 kg to a whopping 1.1 kg!
The staff also socialized him; Small Door Veterinary was in the process of opening its first location, in the West Village, so Franklin was their first animal in residence. "The team would play with him," the spokesperson said. "He got more social and got more bold... our medical chief of staff said that when Franklin started playing with a cotton ball that he was well on his way."
Wiwczar told the staff that if no one adopted the kitten, he would be interested because he had a cat before it passed away. Wiwczar visited Franklin periodically, as did Jenna, the woman who spotted him in Midtown. "Franklin is very beloved," Small Door Veterinary said.
Now Franklin is home with Wiwczar, who said, "He’s doing great now and he’s getting along with my two dogs. Franklin is just having fun, running around, and enjoying being a kitten."
Small Door Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Jamie Richardson had some advice about finding cats or kittens on the street, "If people find a stray cat on the street, the best approach depends on the situation. If the cat/kitten looks sick or injured, approach it slowly and judge how it reacts. These cats may not be used to any human interaction and can be spooked easily- the last thing we would want is them running from you into danger. If you are able to approach the animal, use a towel/coat etc to drape it over the animal and gently pick it up. By covering the animal, you will reduce some level of fear by blocking out visual stimulation. Ideally, some sort of transport box/carrier would be utilized to then take the animal to a vet for further assessment. If you find a litter of kittens that appears healthy, it is best to leave them. The mother likely left the nest to find food and will return. You can always call the ASPCA/Animal Care Center to conduct a site visit and assess the best approach from there."