By Dominick Mezzapesa - Wildlife Planet News
New Zealand - A mother cat and a litter of kittens are trapped inside a wall at a Hamilton construction site and like a typical cat mama is being a bit finicky about being rescued.
So far, attempts to extract her have yielded two babies - one ginger, one black - but mum and the rest of the litter are still in hiding, and it's driving workers crazy.
A man working at the Hawkins site in Te Rapa, that's located south of Aukland, posted on Facebook on Wednesday about the "constant meowing" he had to endure, complaining no one was allowed to knock a hole in the wall to let them out.
"The worst part about it is eventually when/if it dies, we will need to tear the wall down because of the smell that will then cause," the anonymous worker wrote.
Local woman, Sarah Louise saw the post and was outraged.
"I was like what the hell, why does no one want to save the cat?"
She rang the local police, who told her they don't save cats - just dogs. So she called the fire department.
"She was like, 'We don't save animals, that's not a good enough location, that's not good enough information, and we don't have time,'" Ms Louise told Newshub.
"I was surprised the fire brigade didn't want to help, because I thought they liked helping animals."
Eventually Ms Louise was put onto New Lives, a volunteer outfit funded by donations and an op-shop. They attended the site on Thursday with the fire service - who told Newshub they absolutely do rescue animals - and made a hole in the wall.
On Friday morning New Lives founder Donna Young visited the site and collected the two kittens, which are about five weeks old and healthy, but timid. She will try and find new homes for the pair.
"People have a real attitude against stray cats," says Ms Young. "I've seen some really yucky stuff done to stray cats - they class them as a pest and can't be bothered with them."
Traps have been set to catch mum and the rest of the litter - hopefully sooner rather than later.
The company says the Facebook post about the "depressing" meowing wasn't made by one of its staff, suggesting it may have been a subcontractor unaware of the steps site managers were taking.
It was just one of three cat rescues the fire service carried out in the upper North Island on Wednesday.
Fire service northern acting shift manager Carren Larking said whoever told Ms Louise the fire service doesn't rescue animals made a mistake.
"If it's a cat that's been up a tree for an hour or so, no; if it's physically trapped - in a car engine, in a wall, anything they can't self-rescue from - we will rescue them.
"We don't put on our sirens, but we're all animal lovers in here."