Woman Spends Hours Trying To Lure Cat Out Of Tiniest Hiding Place
“I felt like he was already my cat. I just couldn’t leave him there."
Elysia Caris was walking home from work in New York City one day when, out of nowhere, she heard faint meows. She took a minute to look around — and quickly discovered a paw sticking out from a tiny crawl space underneath a gate. She bent down to take a closer look, and found a cat, cold and dirty, wedged into the crawl space.
The space that the cat, later named Ying, had gotten himself into was too small and cramped for Caris to reach in and pull him out from, so she went to a nearby deli, bought a can of cat food and tried to lure him out of the space with it. According to neighbors, Ying had been in the crawl space for weeks at that point, and seemed to have no desire to come out, even though he clearly needed help. Even with the promise of food, Ying was still too scared to venture out of his tiny space to get some.
“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,” Caris told The Dodo. “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.”
Desperate to help him, Caris pushed the can of food into the crawl space, hoping Ying would at least be able to eat and regain his strength a little bit. She then headed home, but couldn’t stop thinking about the poor cat all night, and knew she had to continue to try and help him.
“I felt like he was already my cat,” Caris said. “I just couldn’t leave him there. It makes me sad envisioning him in that cold space for as long as he had been.”
The next morning, Caris went back to the spot where Ying had been hiding — and was delighted to discover that he was still there. She came up with a new plan, and decided that this time, she would refuse to give up until he was safe and sound in her arms.
“I, again, got a can of food and this time put some on my hands to get him out of the gap,” Caris said. “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.”
Ying was scared at first and meowed in protest as Caris carried him inside, but he soon began to relax and started purring in her arms, realizing that he was finally safe. Once they were inside Caris set Ying down on the floor and, after exploring his new home for a bit, he curled up in front of the heater, exhausted from his ordeal and so happy to finally be warm and comfortable again.
Caris made a vet appointment for Ying, and was pleased to discover that, despite spending weeks living in the crawl space, he was in pretty good shape. He had ticks and a lot of dirt in his ears, but other than that, he didn’t have any lasting medical issues. The vet got him all cleaned up and vaccinated, and then Caris took him home again — and knew that he was officially there to stay.
Ying is now obsessed with his new mom, and Caris couldn’t be happier with her decision to adopt him. She refused to give up on him, and now the little cat has the best new home, and can’t stop showing his mom just how grateful he is.
“He circles around me if I’m sitting down and rubs against my legs when he wants to be picked up,” Caris said. “He’s been by my side ever since I took him in. I feel like he’s adopted me in a way!”