A thin, grey cat is counting her eight remaining lives after a somewhat delicate rescue from the roof of a Burnaby elementary school.
The small feline was trapped inside the building's cornice near the rooftop of Gilmore Elementary, a school under construction for seismic upgrades.
With the help of construction workers, the SPCA managed to catch the cat on Monday and take it to the vet.
"Other than being a little dehydrated, the cat seems to be just fine," said Ryan Voutilainen, spokesperson for the Burnaby SPCA.
The SPCA was alerted to the problem on Sunday, thanks to East Vancouver teen Bailey Mehan. The 16-year-old Burnaby student first heard meowing while hanging out with friends behind the school on Saturday night.
"If you called to it, it meowed back," she said. "It would start moaning then meowing quietly. ... I kept calling to it, but it started getting stressed, so I stopped calling it because I thought it was getting more stressed."
Bailey called the fire department but was told they couldn't do anything. She returned to the school on Sunday, but the meows were getting weaker, so she summoned the SPCA. An SPCA employee arrived shortly after, and the two climbed the construction fence and scaffolding on the side of the building, listening for the mewing, trying to pinpoint the cat's location. An on-duty worker at the construction site took the SPCA employee on the roof of the school. According to Bailey, he said nothing could be done until Monday, when the rest of the crew returned to work, and that they would need permission to open the roof as it was likely to incur extra costs. A friend of Bailey's had also reported hearing the cat meowing on Friday night, meaning it had been trapped in the wall close to the roof for at least the whole weekend.
On Monday morning, construction started up again, but the workers had not heard or seen any sign of the cat. The SPCA sent out a uniformed animal control officer to follow-up, and the cat was heard meowing once again. A construction worker cut a hole in the cornice, and the cat climbed out, and they grabbed it and put it in a trap.
"Everyone cooperated very well, the gentleman from the SPCA helped us out. We just followed through," said Mike Ring, the construction site supervisor.
The famished cat was then taken to Burnaby Veterinary Hospital, where she was examined and fed. The cat, named Ky, has a tattoo, and the owners were contacted, said Voutilainen. Ky lived at the family's neighbourhood corner store and had been missing for some days.
According to Voutilainen, cats can survive without food and water for roughly seven days, depending on temperature.
Ky was reunited with her family on Monday night, and in the future, the owners plan on keeping her at the family home, and not the store.
Bailey was surprised to learn the cat was one of two from the neighbourhood corner store, where she often shops.
"Oh my god, I didn't recognize that cat," she said. "It's always in the store. That's the friendly one."