One day, when Elysia Caris was on her way home from work in New York City, she heard a faint meow. After a few moment of searching, she suddenly spotted a paw protruding from a small crevice beneath a fence. When she knelt down to have a better look, she discovered a cat trapped in the crawl area, freezing and filthy.
The space that the cat, later named Ying, had gotten himself into was too small and cramped for Caris to reach in and pull him out from, so she went to a nearby deli, bought a can of cat food and tried to lure him out of the space with it. According to neighbors, Ying had been in the crawl space for weeks at that point, and seemed to have no desire to come out, even though he clearly needed help. Even with the promise of food, Ying was still too scared to venture out of his tiny space to get some.
“He poked his head out and came out just a tiny bit, but would dart back in if a car passed or if I got too close,” Caris told The Dodo. “I stayed for about an hour trying to get him out of there before I got too cold and had to go in. I didn’t want to leave him, though.”
Caris desperately wanted to assist him, so she pushed the food can into the crawl area in the hopes that Ying would at least be able to eat and gain some strength. While driving home, she kept thinking about the unfortunate cat and realized she needed to keep trying to save him.
Caris said, “I felt like he was already my cat. I was unable to leave him there. The thought of him spending so much time in such icy environment makes me sad.
The following morning, Caris returned to the area where Ying had been hiding, and she was thrilled to see him still there.
“I, again, got a can of food and this time put some on my hands to get him out of the gap,” Caris said. “He got closer and closer and proceeded to eat from my hands. When he finally wriggled all the way out, I scooped him up and took him home.”
Ying was scared at first and meowed in protest as Caris carried him inside, but he soon began to relax and started purring in her arms, realizing that he was finally safe. Once they were inside Caris set Ying down on the floor and, after exploring his new home for a bit, he curled up in front of the heater, exhausted from his ordeal and so happy to finally be warm and comfortable again.
Ying had spent weeks living in the crawl area, but when Caris took him to the vet, she was happy to see that he was still in in excellent condition. Other than ticks and a lot of dirt in his ears, he had no significant medical conditions.
After the veterinarian had cleaned him up and given him his shots, Caris took the dog home once more, this time with the knowledge that he would be staying.
Ying is now obsessed with his new mom, and Caris couldn’t be happier with her decision to adopt him. She refused to give up on him, and now the little cat has the best new home, and can’t stop showing his mom just how grateful he is.
When he wants to be picked up, “he revolves around me if I’m sitting down and brushes against my legs,” Caris said. He has supported me ever since I brought him in. In a way, I feel like he adopted me!