Mike Peters, email@example.com
May 7, 2007
Alisha Zablow, 10, hugs Satan the cat Saturday in her grandmother’s apartment. Satan spent three weeks inside the walls of an apartment downstairs until Alisha heard him meowing and orchestrated his rescue. He survived, they believe, on water that came from an overflow of rain. They don’t know how or if he ate.
Photo by RIZA FALK / firstname.lastname@example.org
She was at her cousin's apartment in west Greeley, downstairs from her grandmother, when Alisha heard the noise.
Coming from the wall.
"Meooooow," the cat said again.
For three weeks, the black cat with the yellow eyes had been missing. Everyone thought he was dead, until 10-year-old Alisha Zablow heard the "Meooooow."
"I thought it was coming from outside and I looked out the window," Alisha said. "Then we could hear him through the wall."
For three weeks, the cat had lived, sealed up inside the wall. He was named "Satan" because once he was a grouchy, ornery cat.
Even with a name like that, the family believes it was some kind of miracle that Satan survived.
"He probably used up about four of his nine lives," said Satan's owner, Alisha's grandmother, Ernie Colvin.
It began when Satan was staying for a couple of days in the downstairs apartment, and the plumber removed the faucet system from the bathtub.
Satan, being a cat, climbed through the 4-inch hole and was out of sight by the time the plumber returned and replaced the faucet system.
So, caught behind the tub, inside the walls of the Westmore Apartments, Satan stayed. He may have meowed for help, but Alisha's cousin is partially deaf and couldn't hear the cat.
The family looked for Satan, offered a reward, and neighbors helped, searching the neighborhood. No cat.
"We thought he was dead," Colvin said. "He's an indoor cat and had been declawed, so he probably wouldn't last a long time outside."
But he lasted a long time inside the wall.
Three weeks after Satan's disappearance, Alisha was visiting her cousin when she heard the meowing. They traced the source to the wall, cut out a hole, and Alisha's mother, Toni Marie Zablow, reached inside and pulled Satan to freedom.
He survived, they believe, on water that came from an overflow of rain. They don't know how or if he ate. Satan went into the hole weighing 18 pounds and came out at a sleek 11 pounds.
Once he was out he ate furiously, then spent time with the veterinarian with an IV tube and many tests. He's fine now.
But during his time inside the wall, Satan changed. Once an aloof, detached pet, Satan now follows Ernie Zablow around the apartment like a shadow.
Maybe cats don't always understand things. But after the 10 year-old girl saved his life, he cuddles more with Alisha and even welcomes strangers.
For a cat who was named Satan because he was once grouchy, that's almost a miracle.