The February 8 blizzard was a minor hassle for some Park Slopers and fun for others, but one neighbor had an unusually rough time of it.
Venusaur, a Norwegian forest cat belonging to 9-year-old Ryan Fanchiotti, wandered away from his home on Warren Street and Fourth Avenue right before Nemo hit and never made it home. The New York Times reports:
It wasn’t until Feb. 13 that a woman around the corner on Fourth Avenue noticed a cat crying out from a deep, narrow shaft between her building and the adjacent one. The next day, she alerted members of a cave-exploration group she used to belong to – Met Grotto, the New York City chapter of the National Speleological Society.
Within hours, two cavers, Kay Shriver and Rob Fabiano, were making the 90-minute drive from Centerport, equipped with rope, a cable ladder, and belaying devices. They set up the cable ladder from the fire escape, and Ms. Shriver lowered herself into the gap, grabbed the cat, put him in a canvas bag and pulled him up.
The rescuers believe that the cat fell 16 to 20 feet from a first-story roof into the sunken area, and that he survived by drinking snowmelt and keeping warm by the heating pipes between buildings.
Taryn FitzGerald, Ryan’s mother, also believes that neighbors who heard him crying must have thrown some food, noting that “his weight had not dropped too much.”
Venusaur has since been given a clean bill of health by the family’s vet.
Ironically, the cat fared much better than would his namesake, the Pokémon character who gets his energy from photosynthesis.
Cats: 1, Pokémon: 0, Spelunkers: 1,000,000.