NICETOWN, Minn. — When an overly curious firefighter found himself unable to get free from a drainpipe he'd wandered into, a group of adorable kittens swung into action.
Fellow firefighters spent hours trying to coax their shift mate out of the pipe, but he wouldn't budge.
"We tried everything, but Big John just wouldn't come out," said one distraught firefighter. "We thought … I'm sorry, give me a minute … it was all so emotional. We thought Big John was lost forever. All I can say is (sniff, sniff), thank God for kittens."
The kittens quickly formed a chain linking front paws to tails and made their way into the drainpipe.
The experience left the firefighter traumatized, but he credited his rescuers for their calm performance.
"I was pretty spooked when I first felt one of those kittens grab my foot...and I'm not proud to say I may have let out a wail and scratched at him," said Big John. "But when the lead kitten, Mr. Cuddles, reached me and started to purr, I knew everything would be OK."
Once Big John was calmed, Mr. Cuddles secured the firefighter with his front claws and the chain of kittens slowly retreated out of the pipe, pulling Big John with them.
Reunited with his teary-eyed brothers, Big John said the drainpipe looked like a fun, cool place and he wanted to see what was inside it.
"Honestly, I didn't give much thought to why I was going in there or how I was going to get out," said Big John, when asked how he ended up in the situation. "I just saw a shiny reflection moving around and went after it."
Asked about the heroic rescue as the kitten team licked themselves clean, Mr. Cuddles said, "Meow."
"Meow," repeated one of the firefighters. "Can you believe how humble these kittens are? They probably don't even realize they're heroes and think they are just doing their job."