Kitten Rescue!

I’ve always known that I would never post a ‘cute kitten’ video on YouTube.

And like most things I’ve ‘always known,’ I was completely wrong. Here we are – me, Richard, Violet and my sister Kiry who was visiting from Miami – rescuing a kitten from inside our hallway wall.

A few weeks ago, Richard found a dead kitten in our driveway. He was bummed, of course, and we figured it must have wandered into our yard somehow – maybe a mom cat dropped it and ran when she saw Jackson and then Jackson killed it? Who knows? Then a few days later I saw a cat with a kitten in her mouth walking along the fence outside my office sliding doors. I thought, oh she must be moving her litter. Then I remembered the shed that doesn’t have a lock on it. I wandered in and sure enough, there was a tiny little kitten in there. I should have scooped him up right then because when I returned he was gone.

Then suddenly there was meowing every night and sometimes during the day, seemingly all over the house. We tracked the sound and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Finally we realized the kitten was up in the attic, and the sound was carrying throughout the vents, and that the mother was getting in through the roof somehow to feed it.

Friday night the meowing was so unbearably loud that on Saturday morning I woke up on a mission. I went up on the roof and could not fathom where the cat was getting in to feed the kitten, then crawled around in the attic unable to figure it out. When I came back down the ladder, I noticed that the meowing had changed location. Now it was coming from directly behind the wall in the front hall. If you watched the video above, you know what happened next.

This little guy came out:

Then I called my fabulous new friend Kelly Holland who I only met a few weeks ago. She’s having a huge fundraiser for her animal rescue charity this Saturday night. Come and spend money!  I know first hand what great work they do – read on.

Kelly gave me specific instructions for what to do. Take the kitten to see Dr. Shazad at Canoga Park Animal Center to get him checked out, then drop him off with the Petopia people who will be set up at the Westfield Topanga mall. From there he will be fostered, socialized with kittens his age, then put up for adoption.

But first we had to clean him up!

Violet helped Kiry and me bathe him in the bathroom sink, and that’s when we realized he was literally crawling with fleas. Oh man, it was so gross. You can’t see the fleas in this picture because they were so buried under his fur, but you can see the bites and the damage. Blood was flowing down the drain. In fact later the vet told us that many kittens like this die of anemia because of flea bites! Waah.

We picked the fleas out one by one with tweezers. At first we thought we could just flick them off with our fingernails, but they are slippery little bastards! we literally had to pluck them with tweezers as they clung to the poor little guy’s skin. Disgusting!

But worth it. And the warm water on his eyes softened up the gross scabs, freeing them to open up properly.

Here he is post-cleaning:

Then once he dried off:


You can see from Kiry’s face that she’s falling in love with him. In fact, he didn’t leave her lap much during the whole process. She’s allergic, but she didn’t tell him.

Then we proceeded with the plan!

Off to the vet, where a muzzled pit bull terrorized the lobby for almost the whole wait. I would have taken her picture, but she was too scary. But I did take a picture of the kitten’s grey patch, which is shaped like a heart. Cute!

The amazing Dr. Shazad! Pictured here with the kitten’s softie ‘mom’ who couldn’t snuggle him enough.

Thank you Dr. Shazad! He gave him de-worming medication and some eye ointment.

Next stop, the mall! We left the little guy with Debbie, pictured here on the right, who is feeding him cat formula with an eyedropper as we speak. Hooray! Thank you Petopia! Also pictured is Jennifer, holding the kitten, who helped us fill out the paperwork ‘releasing’ the kitten (not that we ever really owned him.)

There was some discussion about names too. Kiry told Debbie that she’d been calling him ‘Toupee’ because of his little grey patch on his head that looks like a toupee. Debbie didn’t look very impressed with this, but when we mentioned that the patch is heart-shaped, she suggested Valentino. We all loved it! I think that’s the name they went with, but we’ll have to wait and see…

Thanks for all your help Petopia! I’m just so relieved with could get him into foster care.

Back at home, the walls have stopped meowing.



  1. Sue Riedl July 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    wow!! what a story! You guys are awesome. He’s so cute, thank goodness you got to him.

  2. Tracey HG July 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    What a beautiful story! I’m so pleased to hear he has a home now too. Made me cry.

  3. Jennifer L. July 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you Paula for the wonderful story on our little guy. He is doing beautifully and we all are already in love with him. He is so smart and funny that he could entertain us for hours. He loves his stuffed animals and plays and plays. And we are amazed that he litter box trained himself. I got the pleasure of feeding him last night. I couldn’t seem to get the formula in him fast enough and the noises that he made to let me know were hysterical. When those baby blues look up at me I just melt. He’s a true joy 🙂

  4. admin July 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Jennifer! Thanks SO MUCH for chiming in! How wonderful to get an update!! Hee hee. And are you calling him Valentino or something else? i can update the blog : )

  5. Valerie July 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    That video made me cry! Violet’s little voice in the background was pretty darn cute too. Yay rescue team! Yay Dr. Shazad! Yay animal rescuers!

  6. Jennifer L. July 26, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Debbie chose to name him Atticus since he was originally heard in the attic.

  7. admin July 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Atticus! Fantastic! Thank you – now we can call him by his new name : )

  8. catkins August 14, 2012 at 4:40 am

    I saw this at Life With Cats. Great story, Paula. Thanks and blessings to you for all you did. What about the mother? Wouldn’t she be looking for the kitten? She needs to be spayed. There must be cat people or groups there who could help you trap if the mother is feral.

  9. admin August 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Yes, we were planning to safe trap the mom, but now she’s stopped coming around. It’s terrible because she could just go out and have another litter. : (

  10. Jen August 17, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for being such a wonderful person and saving him!

  11. Alexis September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I have a german shep. mix and she is AMAZING . My two cats when they were ktniets they loved my dog but now unfortunately they always randomly attack her . Its all about the dogs temperament . My other dog is a chow mix and she was Rather small but she would always run around trying to stomp on the cats hurting them My german Shepperd mix is brindle and at 1st glance everyone thinks she is aggressive and would attack people and cats and as for my other dog they all think she is nice and would not harm a fly . It also depends on the cats gender Female cats tend to be more moody towards dogs .References : experiance

  12. Daniel l September 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Atticus is so amazing. I’ve been around him a lot the past few weeks, and let me just say……HE”S FEARLESS!!!!!!

  13. admin September 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Daniel! Maybe I could schedule a visit and make another little movie? : )

  14. Daniel l September 17, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I’m sure that he’d love to see you, but he doesn’t normally come to the mall with us. We’re at the AMC in woodland hills every weekend. Maybe you could talk to Debbie about seeing him again

  15. Daniel September 22, 2012 at 6:14 am

    atticus doesn’t come to the mall with us, but maybe you could talk to debbie about seeing him. We’re at the AMC in woodland hills every weekend.

  16. dd November 1, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Valentino!!! perfect. great story. as usual

  17. MailOnline November 10, 2013 at 1:39 am


    We would love to use your images on our site. Please contact us at if your interested.


  18. margaret September 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I had a simalair thing happen to me, I named my kitten WALLY, cause we found him in the wall of course

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