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Just got this in email

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
If the story is not true, the gal sure has one heck of an imagination!

Long, but a hilariously funny cat tale.

This long tale (well worth the read) was sent in by Kandace Aksnes:

Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water

This is the story of the night my ten-year-old cat, Rudy, got his head
stuck in the garbage disposal. I knew at the time that the experience
would be funny if the cat survived, so let me tell you right up front
he's fine. Getting him out wasn't easy, though, and the process included

numerous home remedies, a plumber, two cops, an emergency overnight
veterinary clinic, a case of mistaken identity, five hours of panic, and

fifteen minutes of fame.

First, some background. My husband, Rich, and I had just returned from a

five-day spring-break vacation in the Cayman Islands, where I had been
sick as well, as a dog the whole time, trying to convince myself that if

had to feel lousy, it was better to do it in paradise. We had arrived
at 9 p.m., a day and a half later than we had planned because of airline

problems. I still had illness-related vertigo, and because of the flight

delays, had not been able to prepare the class I was supposed to teach
8:40 the next morning. I sat down at my desk to think about William
Williams, and around ten o'clock I heard Rich hollering something
indecipherable from the kitchen. As I raced out to see what was wrong, I

saw Rich frantically rooting around under the kitchen sink and Rudy or,
rather, Rudy's headless body scrambling around in the sink, his claws
clicking in panic on the metal. Rich had just ground up the skin of some

smoked salmon in the garbage disposal, and when he left the room, Rudy
(whom we always did call a pinhead) had gone in after it.

It is very disturbing to see the headless body of your cat in the sink.
This is an animal that I have slept with nightly for ten years, who
burrows under the covers and purrs against my side, and who now looked
like a desperate, fur-covered turkey carcass, set to defrost in the sink

while it's still alive and kicking. It was also disturbing to see Rich,
Mr. Calm-in-an-Emergency, at his wits end, trying to soothe Rudy, trying

to undo the garbage disposal, failing at both, and basically freaking
Adding to the chaos was Rudy's twin brother Lowell, also upset, racing
around in circles, jumping onto the kitchen counter and alternately
licking Rudy's butt for comfort and biting it out of fear. Clearly, I
to do something.

First we tried to ease Rudy out of the disposal by lubricating his head
and neck. We tried Johnson's baby shampoo (kept on hand for my nieces'
visits) and butter-flavored Crisco: both failed, and a now-greasy Rudy
kept struggling. Rich then decided to take apart the garbage disposal,
which was a good idea, but he couldn't do it. Turns out, the thing is
constructed like a metal onion: you peel off one layer and another one
appears, with Rudy's head still buried deep inside, stuck in a hard
plastic collar. My job during this process was to sit on the kitchen
counter petting Rudy, trying to calm him, with the room spinning
(vertigo), Lowell howling (he's part Siamese), and Rich clattering
with tools.

When all our efforts failed, we sought professional help. I called our
regular plumber, who actually called me back quickly, even at 11 o'clock

at night (thanks, Dave). He talked Rich through further layers of
dismantling, but still we couldn't reach Rudy. I called the 1-800 number

for Insinkerator (no response), a pest removal service that advertises
24-hour service (no response), an all-night emergency veterinary clinic
(who had no experience in this matter, and so, no advice), and finally,
desperation, 911. I could see that Rudy's normally pink paw pads were
turning blue. The fire department, I figured, gets cats out of trees;
maybe they could get one out of a garbage disposal.

The dispatcher had other ideas and offered to send over two policemen.
This suggestion gave me pause. I'm from the sixties, and even if I am
currently a fine upstanding citizen, I had never considered calling the
cops and asking them to come to my house, on purpose. I resisted the
suggestion but the dispatcher was adamant: "They'll help you out," he

The cops arrived close to midnight and turned out to be quite nice. More

importantly, they were also able to think rationally, which we were not.

They were, of course, quite astonished by the situation: "I've never
anything like this," Officer Mike kept saying. (The unusual
helped us get quickly on a first-name basis with our cops.) Officer Tom,

who expressed immediate sympathy for our plight "I've had cats all my
life," he said, comfortingly also had an idea. Evidently we needed a
certain tool, a tiny, circular rotating saw, that could cut through the
heavy plastic flange encircling Rudy's neck without hurting Rudy, and
Officer Tom happened to own one. "I live just five minutes from here,"
said; "I'll go get it." He soon returned, and the three of them Rich
the two policemen got under the sink together to cut through the garbage

disposal. I sat on the counter, holding Rudy and trying not to succumb
the surreal-ness of the scene, with the weird middle-of-the-night
lighting, the room's occasional spinning, Lowell's spooky sound effects,

an apparently headless cat in my sink and six disembodied legs poking
from under it. One good thing came of this: the guys did manage to get
bottom off of the disposal, so we could now see Rudy's face and knew he
could breathe. But they couldn't cut the flange without risking the cat.


Officer Tom had another idea. "You know," he said, "I think the reason
can't get him out is the angle of his head and body. If we could just
the sink out and lay it on its side, Ill bet we could slip him out."
sounded like a good idea at this point, ANYTHING would have sounded like

good idea and as it turned out, Officer Mike runs a plumbing business on

weekends; he knew how to take out the sink! Again they went to work, the

three pairs of legs sticking out from under the sink surrounded by an
ever-increasing pile of tools and sink parts. They cut the electrical
supply, capped off the plumbing lines, unfastened the metal clamps,
unscrewed all the pipes, and about an hour later, voila! the sink was
lifted gently out of the countertop, with one guy holding the garbage
disposal (which contained Rudy's head) up close to the sink (which
contained Rudy's body). We laid the sink on its side, but even at this
more favorable removal angle, Rudy stayed stuck.

Officer Tom's radio beeped, calling him away on some kind of real police

business. As he was leaving, though, he had another good idea: "You
he said, "I don't think we can get him out while he's struggling so
We need to get the cat sedated. If he were limp, we could slide him
And off he went, regretfully, a cat lover still worried about Rudy. The
remaining three of us decided that getting Rudy sedated was a good idea,

but Rich and I were new to the area. We knew that the overnight
veterinary clinic was only a few minutes away, but we didn't know
how to get there. "I know where it is!" declared Officer Mike. "Follow
me!" So Mike got into his patrol car, Rich got into the driver's seat
our car, and I got into the back, carrying the kitchen sink, what was
of the garbage disposal, and Rudy. It was now about 2:00 a.m. We
Officer Mike for a few blocks when I decided to put my hand into the
garbage disposal to pet Rudy's face, hoping I could comfort him.
my sweet, gentle bedfellow chomped down on my finger, hard really hard
wouldn't let go. My scream reflex kicked into gear, and I couldn't stop
the noise. Rich slammed on the breaks, hollering "What? What happened?
Should I stop?", checking us out in the rearview mirror. "No," I managed

to get out between screams, "just keep driving. Rudy's biting me, but
we've got to get to the vet. Just go!" Rich turned his attention back
the road, where Officer Mike took a turn we hadn't expected, and we
followed. After a few minutes Rudy let go, and as I stopped screaming, I

looked up to discover that we were wandering aimlessly through an
industrial park, in and out of empty parking lots, past little streets
that didn't look at all familiar. "Where's he taking us?" I asked. "We
should have been there ten minutes ago!" Rich was as mystified as I
but all we knew to do was follow the police car until, finally, he
into a church parking lot and we pulled up next to him. As Rich rolled
down the window to ask, "Mike, where are we going?", the cop, who was
Mike, rolled down his window and asked, "Why are you following me?" Once

Rich and I recovered from our shock at having tailed the wrong cop car
the policeman from his pique at being stalked, he led us quickly to the
emergency vet, where Mike greeted us by holding open the door,
"Where were you guys???"

It was lucky that Mike got to the vet's ahead of us, because we hadn't
thought to call and warn them about what was coming. (Clearly, by this
time we weren't really thinking at all.) We brought in the kitchen sink
containing Rudy and the garbage disposal containing his head, and the
clinic staff was ready. They took his temperature (which was down 10
degrees) and his oxygen level (which was half of normal), and the vet
declared: "This cat is in serious shock. We've got to sedate him and get

him out of there immediately." When I asked if it was OK to sedate a cat

in shock, the vet said grimly, "We don't have a choice." With that, he
injected the cat; Rudy went limp; and the vet squeezed about half a tube

of K-Y jelly onto the cat's neck and pulled him free. Then the whole
jumped into "code blue" mode. (I know this from watching a lot of ER.)
They laid Rudy on a cart, where one person hooked up IV fluids, another
put little socks on his paws ("You'd be amazed how much heat they lose
through their pads," she said), one covered him with hot water bottles
a blanket, and another took a blow-dryer to warm up Rudy's now very
head. The fur on his head dried in stiff little spikes, making him look
rather pathetically punk as he lay there, limp and motionless. At this
point they sent Rich, Mike, and me to sit in the waiting room while they

tried to bring Rudy back to life. I told Mike he didn't have to stay,
he just stood there, shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like
this," he said again. At about 3 a.m, the vet came in to tell us that
prognosis was good for a full recovery. They needed to keep Rudy
to re-hydrate him and give him something for the brain swelling they
assumed he had, but if all went well, we could take him home the
night. Just in time to hear the good news, Officer Tom rushed in,
with his real police work and concerned about Rudy. I figured that once
this ordeal was over and Rudy was home safely, I would have to re-think
position on the police.

Rich and I got back home about 3:30. We hadn't unpacked from our trip, I

was still intermittently dizzy, and I still hadn't prepared my 8:40
"I need a vacation," I said, and while I called the office to leave a
message canceling my class, Rich made us a pitcher of martinis.

I slept late the next day and then badgered the vet about Rudy's
until he said that Rudy could come home later that day. I was working on

the suitcases when the phone rang. "Hi, this is Steve Huskey from the
Norristown Times-Herald," a voice told me. "Listen, I was just going
through the police blotter from last night. Mostly it's the usual stuff
breaking and entering, petty theft but there's this one item. Um, do you

have a cat?" So I told Steve the whole story, which interested him. A
couple hours later he called back to say that his editor was interested,

too; did I have a picture of Rudy? The next day Rudy was front-page
under the ridiculous headline "Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water."

There were some noteworthy repercussions to the newspaper article. Mr.
Huskey had somehow inferred that I called 911 because I thought Rich, my

husband, was going into shock, although how he concluded this from my
comment that "his pads were turning blue," I don't quite understand. So
the first thing I had to do was call Rich at work Rich, who had worked
tirelessly to free Rudy--and swear that I had been misquoted. When I
arrived at work myself, I was famous; people had been calling my
all morning to inquire about Rudy's health. When I called our regular
(whom I had met only once) to make a follow-up appointment for Rudy, the

receptionist asked, "Is this the famous Rudy's mother?" When I brought
car in for routine maintenance a few days later, Dave, my mechanic,
"We read about your cat. Is he OK?" When I called a tree surgeon about
dying red oak, he asked if I knew the person on that street whose cat
been in the garbage disposal. And when I went to get my hair cut, the
shampoo person told me the funny story her grandma had read in the
about a cat who got stuck in the garbage disposal. Even today, over a
later, people ask about Rudy, whom an 9-year-old neighbor had always
called "the Adventure Cat" because he used to climb on the roof of her
house and peer in the second-story window at her.

I don't know what the moral of this story is, but I do know that this
"adventure" cost me $1100 in emergency vet bills, follow-up vet care,
sink, new plumbing, new electrical wiring, and new garbage disposal, one

with a cover. The vet can no longer say he's seen everything but the
kitchen sink. I wanted to thank Officers Tom and Mike by giving them
certificates to the local hardware store, but was told that they
accept gifts, that I would put them in a bad position if I tried. So I
wrote a letter to the Police Chief praising their good deeds and sent
individual thank-you notes to Tom and Mike, complete with pictures of
Rudy, so they could see what he looks like with his head on. And Rudy,
whom we originally got for free (or so we thought), still sleeps with me

under the covers on cold nights and unaccountably, he still sometimes
prowls the sink, hoping for fish. >>
post #2 of 5
Wow!!!! What a story!!!!
post #3 of 5
Oh My God...what a riot! :LOL:

Poor Rudy (I have a special affection for Rudy's ) he must've been just frantic, not to mention his poor owners!

What a great story...true or not!
post #4 of 5
That was quite a tale!
post #5 of 5
Oh my gawd! I'd have run outside immediately and turned the breaker switch off. Imagine if someone accidentally bumped the switch to turn the disposal on! I have OCD so I always think of things like this. Eek!
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