Cat saved after 7-hour rescue

2011-12-06 10:13

Pietermaritzburg - A couple battled for seven hours on Monday to rescue their beloved 2-year-old cat, Domino, which was stuck in a storm water drainpipe under their driveway.

James Theil and his girlfriend, Shannon Milojkovic, both 23, said they noticed the cat was missing when they returned to their home in the Pietermaritzburg city centre in the morning.

They grew concerned when they heard a cry and began searching.

“We walked around the garden looking for Domino,” Milojkovic said.

They realised the cry was coming from under the driveway.

“We tried to take the cat out from the pipe’s opening. We first put a cellphone there to trace it by taking a photograph using the flash, but we couldn’t see it. Then we stuck our hands in the pipe, but couldn’t feel it. In our desperation we called for extra help.”

The couple called the SPCA and the inspector advised that they dig into the tar to reach the cat.

'Extremely lucky'

That is when Mark Joubert Plumbing came to the rescue.

Joubert said the cat was four metres down the pipe.

“It was stuck in the bend and it couldn’t turn around.”

He decided to dig up the tar and cut the pipe very carefully because he did not want to hurt the cat. This took two hours.

“It was an eventful afternoon. We could hear the cat’s mew and we knew it was alive,” Joubert told The Witness.

He said it was the first time he has been called to rescue an animal and he is glad the cat was unharmed.

When the cat was freed at 16:00 every part of its body was wet except the head, said Milojkovic.

“At first I thought there was no way we would save her, but we were determined. I feel very good,” said Theil, the owner.

The vet told the couple that the cat is “extremely lucky” to have made it out alive.

“We now have a huge chunk out of the driveway, but it was definitely worth it,” Milojkovic added.

  • Kay - 2011-12-06 10:17

    Awesome story something id go through without a doubt for my cat. welldone every1

      Ian - 2011-12-06 10:59

      and my pup

      Ann - 2011-12-06 12:33

      I, too would do anything to rescue an animal! As for morons like Poloyatonki - I have told you before, if you can't say something good, rather keep quiet!!! Thank you for sharing this lovely story with us - makes such a change to all the political BS that generally depresses many of us, because there is an absolute never ending stream of corruption involved in so many of these stories and the twisted lives that people live ...

      christo.stone - 2011-12-06 12:35

      Same pooch means the world to me!

  • MissGremlin - 2011-12-06 10:23


      sabrael - 2011-12-06 12:26

      Poloyatonki, I truly hope no one ever wastes their time saving your life.

      Ernestine - 2011-12-06 12:39

      Wow. You must lead a very sad life. Poor you.

  • katvrou - 2011-12-06 10:30

    A happy pet story for a change. Thanks for sharing! >^..^<

      Rob - 2011-12-06 11:33

      Awesome Cat face!

  • Tennille - 2011-12-06 10:46

    So cool, but definitely an eye opener that drains should have covers on to prevent animals from getting in and then getting stuck, this story had a happy ending but I shudder to think how many animals have perhaps got in to similar situations without being rescued and suffering a slow death.

  • Ian - 2011-12-06 10:59

    poor kitty, lots of pampering now, poor thing

  • Colourless - 2011-12-06 10:59

    Well that made me cry. What a wonderful story! What hero's!

  • Shirley - 2011-12-06 11:03

    It gives me faith in humanity when I see there are still people who would do anything for their animals! I would do the same in a heart beat. Thank you for going the extra mile for a creature who gives nothing but love in return!

  • Tracy - 2011-12-06 11:17

    The only problem with this story is that the SPCA didnt seem to help, but a private company came to the aid of these people! I would also dig a hole the size of Kimberly hole to get to my cat!!!

      Maai - 2011-12-06 11:23

      The SPCA like almost everything else in this country has gone to the dogs. Pun intended.

      Marion - 2011-12-06 11:39

      If they'd realized there would be press coverage they would have done a lot more !! I support the Animal Anti Cruelty League 'cos they have proven to me that they truly care about animals in danger/distress. Also Barking Mad where you can contribute to feeding a dog, at no cost to yourself, by just doing a daily click on the link at

      Shirley - 2011-12-06 12:13

      Il second that!

  • Rainbow - 2011-12-06 11:37

    What a heart warming story. I would go to these lengths if one of my pet rats were in danger but i wonder if i would get the same positive response from the public if my story was posted on news 24...mmmmmmm

      Shirley - 2011-12-06 13:09

      All creatures deserve love-cat,rat,dog,doesnt matter. The joy they bring is all reward we need.

  • Lucky - 2011-12-06 11:37

    Hope the cat was in pursuit of something worth the risk!

  • Carol - 2011-12-06 11:48

    I just love happy endings like this! Kudos most definitely to the owners for not giving up :-)

  • jackal666.daniel - 2011-12-06 12:10

    9 lives baby!!!

  • Shirley - 2011-12-06 12:17

    POLOYATONKI: You and others with your sad disposition and mentality is what is wrong in this country. If you cannot show love and compassion for another living creature-you are just a wasted shell! By the way-what others do with their time and money has NOTHING to do with you and you tediously waste ours with your brainless comments!

  • tracey.badenhorst - 2011-12-06 13:54

    Beautiful story I would have done the same no seconds thoughts. Glad kitty is alive and well.

  • Tennille - 2011-12-06 14:55

    Here is another tearjerker about Lab Beagles seeing the sun and feeling grass for the first time after being rescued. Beagles are the preferred breed of dog for lab/research use because they are so gentle and easy to handle. (yes in this day and age, such unspeakable things still happen)

  • Winsome - 2011-12-06 17:49

    This is such a lovely story! Well done to all involved and may you and Domino have a wonderful Christmas! So wish there were more stories like this to cheer us all up!

  • strangerthingshavehappened - 2011-12-07 12:09

    Well done!!

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