She Spends Hours Coaxing Freezing Kitten Out from Crawl Space, Refuses To Leave Him Alone


Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to assess a situation. When you see the same thing day after day, you can start to zone out and go on autopilot, missing the little activities around you.

A neighborhood in New York City had gotten used to seeing a little ginger tabby cat scampering about. It’s a big city, a busy city — how many of us have thought much of the various cats we see running around in our own cities?

They move with such purpose and seem so self-sufficient that it’s easy to assume they have homes to retreat to. But for the little ginger tabby, “home” was rather bleak.

He’d settled down in a dingy crawlspace under a metal gate. Some had noticed he seemed to hang around there more often than not, but didn’t do much to draw him out or relocate him — until Elysia Caris heard the kitten’s meows one day as she walked home from work.

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When she realized that the cat belonged to no one and had been there for a bit, she felt compelled to help. She bought some cat food from a nearby store, hoping to bribe the kitten into her arms.

Caris later told The Dodo that at first he was interested, but not quite interested enough.

“He poked his head out and came out just a tiny bit, but would dart back in if a car passed or if I got too close,” she said. “I stayed for about an hour trying to get him out of there before I got too cold and had to go in. I didn’t want to leave him, though.”

Even though she had only just met the animal, she already felt a bond. She cared for him, and the thought of him staying out another night was disagreeable.

“I felt like he was already my cat. I just couldn’t leave him there. It makes me sad envisioning him in that cold space for as long as he had been,” she said.

Food is generally a good tool when trying to convince stray animals to trust you, so she returned and redoubled her efforts the next day.

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“I, again, got a can of food and this time put some on my hands to get him out of the gap. He got closer and closer and proceeded to eat from my hands. When he finally wriggled all the way out, I scooped him up and took him home.”

The poor little tabby probably didn’t know what to expect. Much of his life had probably been spent trying to avoid humans, since so many are dismissive if not downright abusive toward strays.

Fortunately for the cat, later named “Ying,” Caris was a kind human who was ready to adopt him and give him a whole new warm, clean and happy life.

All signs point to him having adjusted well to living as a house cat. He’s certainly not as standoffish as he once was, according to Caris.

“He circles around me if I’m sitting down and rubs against my legs when he wants to be picked up. He’s been by my side ever since I took him in.”

And the new cat mom shared a sentiment that all of us who have adopted pets in our lives know very well: “I feel like he’s adopted me in a way!”

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