Animal Welfare — Lucky Sphinx

Many people may know Yekaterinburg as the place where the last of the Romanovs were murdered. On Wednesday, January 25, the city witnessed another sad event. But this time, the story had a happy ending.
On January 27, someone posted a video on Telegram about a Sphinx cat that ended up getting herself literally deep into trouble after running outside and into an area, she was not supposed to be.

In Yekaterinburg, a zoo rescuer freed a sphinx stuck in a ventilation shaft. Kitty ran out of the apartment to the technical floor, and there she dived into the ventilation. The rescue operation took place on 25 January.Evgeny Zenkov rescued the Sphinx. Everything is fine with the cat, she escaped with abrasions.1 (@ndnews)

The owner of the cat, having looked almost everywhere for her kittie, finally starts to hear her kittie’s cries. Rushing toward the source where cries were coming from, she is petrified to find her baby stuck deep down a ventilation shaft. Not knowing what to do, she calls the local animal rescue. In an almost impossible task, the rescue workers finally manage to pull the kittie up and out of the pipe2 . Here is what the rescuers had to say:

The call on which we worked that evening made me seriously worried. The initial data were ordinary.  The cat ran out of the apartment into the entrance and from there to the technical floor, and then disappeared from view.  But when, a few hours later, the hostess went there again with the intention of finally finding a cat, her attention was attracted by screams coming from one of the ventilation shafts.  According to the owner, she even managed to see the cat in the depths of the canal.  This was already encouraging, because we were faced with a completely standard well-established task – just pulling out the cat with a loop under the control of the camera, which had already happened in practice so many times. We went up with the hostess to the technical floor.  We approach the desired exit of the ventilation ducts.  They are a series of small round holes and one more spacious elongated channel.  This is where new details begin to emerge.  First, it turned out that the cat was in a narrow round canal.  It will be a bit crowded to work … I lower the camera.  Soon, a certain object begins to be viewed on the screen, and I could not immediately understand what we were seeing.  The cat was in a head down position, the screen shows the tail, buttocks and partially hind legs.  And it’s also a Sphynx cat, without hair, that’s why it looks unusual. So, the cat is stuck upside down in a narrow channel.  In this position, blood circulation is disturbed.  There are cases when cats died in a similar situation (if a cat just sits at the bottom of the ventilation shaft in a normal position, then it can usually spend several days there without critical damage).  In addition, our cat is completely devoid of hair – the problem of hypothermia is added.  Thus, we need to get the cat urgently, and there may be very little time at our disposal. But how to get it?  The usual method – camera-controlled loop capture – promises very little chance of success here, because it is almost impossible to carry out a tail and rear grab … In addition, what is below the cat and how deep it can still fall is impossible to check – the camera will certainly not go deeper between the cat and the wall. How it all could end, it became immediately clear … The endoscope automatically records everything that the camera shows on the screen.  So tens of minutes of our persistent attempts to achieve putting on a noose were filmed.  The cat sometimes began to make attempts to move up, resting its paws and back against the walls of the canal.  It seemed that she would be able to climb into the noose in this way.  It was clear that she already had bloody abrasions on her paws. Finally, it became clear that other options had to be sought. There was still one positive circumstance – a small depth.  Taking out the camera, I discovered that the length of the cable that went deep into the depths was only about three meters.  From such a distance, you can reach the cat with a fishing rod, which, unlike a soft rope loop, is rigid and keeps its shape. But the fishing rod was not at hand.  The fact is that this tool, often indispensable, is never required when rescuing animals from vents.  And in order not to carry extra cargo, which is clearly not useful, I left the fishing rod at home. Now I had to go after her, wasting time in traffic jams … After an hour and a half I’m back to the place.  Now we will try to capture the cat with a fishing rod.  The technical floor has a very low ceiling.  The fishing rod has to be launched into the channel when folded, and after that the sections are gradually pushed apart.  But things are getting better now.  We see on the screen of the endoscope that the end of the fishing rod with a noose appeared next to the cat, and this tool can be controlled much more accurately than a rope loop. And soon the long-awaited happens – the noose finally wraps around the cat’s body.  Here the camera had to be urgently removed, otherwise it would interfere with pulling out the cat in a narrow channel1 (Новый День)

Watch the video on Telegram


  1. @ndnews, Новый День. “A Moment of Kindness.” Новый День, 27 Jan. 2023,. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.
  2. Новый День, @ndnews. “Rescuing a Cat (Sphinx Breed) That Has Fallen Headfirst into a Ventilation Duct.” ZooSpas in Yekaterinburg, 26 Jan. 2023. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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