“We both had a pretty darn good day when our paths crossed.”
One evening, Tyson Hood was looking through Facebook when he stumbled upon a post about a little cat that had slipped into a storm drain. The kitten had been cries for assistance for four days since he was stuck and unable to be rescued. Hood instantly wrote a message to the individual who posted to see if he could assist because he loves animals a lot and is the lieutenant of community risk reduction at his local fire department.
Hood told us, “I’m kind of a sucker for animals in need and wrote her a private message saying that I worked for the local fire department in a position where I may be able to help.” The next day, we reported to work after hearing a message notification ping.
Hood phoned his girlfriend for assistance because he didn’t have much expertise with cats. She forewarned him that the kitten would probably be scared of him, making the rescue somewhat more challenging, and she was correct. It took nearly an hour and a half to eventually extricate the tiny fellow from the storm drain; he was undoubtedly afraid and perplexed.
The Good Samaritan who discovered the cat in need of assistance, Stephanie, introduced herself to Hood. “She showed me the storm drain and said that she’s been feeding [him] regularly, so [he’s] at least not starving,” Hood said. When the grate was removed, Stephanie brought some tuna, and we set it up so that he had to come out of the tunnel to eat it. He realized it was a “trap” rather quickly and refused to come out of the tunnel if he could see Stephanie at all.
All I did was cover the tube with the net before he could turn around and rush back in when Stephanie saw that he had fully left the tunnel to eat the tuna. Although it was rather near, he simply ran straight into the net, which I scooped him out of.
The kitten was first a little scared, but as soon as he understood he was free and everyone around him was secure, he started to calm down. It didn’t take him long to fall in love with his savior completely.
As soon as he was safe and out of the sewer, Hood said, “he was an amazing lover – constant cuddling.” The hardest I’ve ever seen a cat nuzzle-purr, she immediately climbed up onto my shoulders. Which was flattering, but he smelled awful, as you might expect.
Hood completely supported Stephanie’s wishes to adopt the kitty when he was set free. He assured her that he would be pleased to adopt the little child if circumstances changed. A few days later, he received the call. The arrangement wasn’t going to work out for no fault of Stephanie or the kitten, and Hood was now legally recognized as the child’s father.
Hood made the decision to give the cat the name Walnut because he was discovered on Walnut Street. His new father is overjoyed with how everything turned out and is now well established in his new house.
He only likes to be on my shoulders if I’m sitting motionless, so I’m convinced he must have some type of emotional memory of happy moments spent snuggling there, Hood said. He headbutts like a rhinoceros, purrs like a chainsaw, and for some reason insists on dozing on my neck. He walks me to his food dish whenever it is full and asks me to stay watch. This behavior may be his way of making up to me for catching him with a huge pool net when he was eating in his sewer habitat. However, I believe that we can communicate, and the day that our paths intersected was a pretty darn nice one for both of us.
Hood was intended to be his father, and Walnut knew as soon as he saved him that this meant the two would always be great friends.