It could have been the end of things for a little kitten named Echo in Arizona last week. He had managed to get stuck inside a pipe underground, dangerously close to a sewage line and no visible help in sight. If not for two college students who were passing by, Echo might very well have perished but, after wrangling a few local heroes to the scene, the small wet kitty was thankfully freed.

In a story covering the hairy situation, Daily Paws states that the students first heard meowing at 8:00 in the morning. As they had successfully adopted their cat from the nonprofit Desert Cat Rescue & Sanctuary of Arizona, their first thought was to give the Rescue a call and see if they might be able to provide any assistance. Founder and director Cheryl Christensen answered the call and rushed over to evaluate the situation.

It seemed as if there was a kitten in the wall, that much was clear. Christensen contacted the Safford Fire Department for additional help, and one of the firefighters even brought their family along – this was clearly going to be a group effort. Firefighters on the roof were able to source the sound from ventilation pipes, and followed the clues to a small open pipe in the backyard, which seemed to be the point of ingress for little Echo.

Then, finally, the last member of the rescue squad arrived: 3G Plumbing. A responding plumber was able to use their camera on the backyard pipe and found Echo five feet underground. They observed him moving carefully in the pipe, but had to make sure to remove him as swiftly as possible, since he was positioned directly in the way of sewage.

Their methods were rather ingenious. The plumbers positioned a snake down the other end of the pipe, blocking the path to the sewage line. Alternately, they maneuvered the camera to carefully nudge Echo along the correct path, removing a toilet so he could be safely removed. They even played videos of cat moms on their cellphone to keep his attention.

All in all, by 11:12pm, Echo was safe. And, not only that, but getting stuck may have been the luckiest thing he ever did; Chris, a plumber at 3G Plumbing, has pledged to adopt him after he’s recovered and received his shots.

As a result, Chris has no dubbed him “Gremlin,” after the visible state he was in on rescue from the pipe. Sorry, Echo, you can’t win them all.

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