Saturday, January 9, 2016

Violet Loveland's extraordinary rescue

Since our cat Violet went missing on Monday, I've been patrolling my neighborhood, a complex of townhouses, calling her name and shaking toys and treats, hoping to entice her to come out. We publicized our search on Tuesday, and received lots of good wishes, thoughts, and tips. We put up posters, set an alert with Home Again, and shared on Facebook and local news sites like

Violet and Isabella in calmer times

One neighbor suggested looking at construction sites, as their family pet was found at one after a 17-day search. Others suggested setting a humane trap outside along with her litter box. All of the buildings look the same, so we figured it was quite likely she was lost very close by, and scared.

My family was growing more distraught and hopeless as the week progressed. On Friday afternoon, I went for a walk with a friend and brought my flashlight and a cat toy. We were talking and calling for Violet when after about three minutes, we heard a frantic meowing. The next door neighbor came out from her back porch and we asked if a cat lived there. She said that she'd called the neighbor that morning around 10 am to make sure the cat was OK because the meowing was louder than normal, and that the neighbor had just told the cat to be quiet and moved on with her day. But the next door neighbor agreed that the meowing sounded frantic, so she called the other neighbor a second time, around 4 pm. We waited for a couple of minutes in this neighbor's house, and she got a call from the adjacent apartment that the meowing was coming from the wall and that it was not her cat!

I called to Violet from the vent opening in the second floor and heard her and her bell jingle very clearly. I was so, so relieved to have located her! I was crying and hugging my friend and neighbors. Little did we know, our rescue effort would take us until the next day.

I sat in my neighbor's bedroom calling Violet for about 5 hours. I phoned everyone I could think of: Boston Fire Department, Animal Control, Angell MSPCA, the building management company, HVAC specialists.  The Boston Fire Department and Animal Control tried for hours to get her out, with no luck.

It seemed Violet was trapped next to, not in, this duct in the wall.

Finally, a contractor from our town came to our rescue.  Greg, an employee at Step by Step Construction, owned by Todd Vaughan, came out and spent 3 hours trying to get her out. By 10 pm, we had a few holes in the first-floor ceiling but no Violet. We decided to regroup in the morning.

After a night of little sleep, Greg returned with Todd. They cut open the duct work in the second floor and had her out within 45 minutes!

This little cat caused quite a disturbance and a lot of repairs! We suspect that she somehow fell through a small hole in my townhouse in the attic and crawled across to the neighbor 3 doors down.  We have sealed off the attic and Violet is readjusting nicely to her surroundings, albeit with a lot fewer than her original 9 lives! We are so, so happy to have her home, and so grateful for everyone's searching, thoughts, tips, and good wishes. And if you need a reliable, honest contractor, please call Todd Vaughan, 617-504-0914 or


  1. Awesome! Beautiful! Perseverance, and a happy rescue. Theres always someone to help, we need to just keep looking for them. YAY Violet is home again.

  2. WHEW!!!! I know how awful that must have been for you, since the same thing happened to my little kitten years ago!!! She was a tiny thing, and she somehow found a hole in the wall behind a kitchen cabinet and wound up somewhere inside the wall on the floor below. We were so happy to get her out, and I'm happy you got Violet out, too!

  3. Happened to me years ago: little kitten, hole in wall behind newly installed kitchen cabinet, kitten yowling from inside wall of floor below. Glad your story turned out as well as ours did!