Cat uses 7 of 9 lives with 50 day stay in chimney

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Royal is happy at home with his people
Photo by Laura King

By Diane Hettrick

A local cat named Royal used up seven of his nine lives after being stuck in a neighbor's chimney for 50 days.

Here's the timeline:
  • Laura King says "Royal first went missing on April 13. We remember that date because it was the one year anniversary of us getting our two cats. Our girls were planning a little party, but that didn't happen for obvious reasons." 
  • April Macdonald started hearing noises from her fireplace about three days later.
  • Kevin from Sound Chimneys pulled out the fireplace insert on June 3.
  • April contacted the Kings on June 4

On April 16, Laura and Jared King posted a notice on Nextdoor:
Lost our Black Cat, Royal. Hey Everyone, We live on 185th close to Corliss. Our black short-haired male cat has been lost for about 3 days now. He doesn't usually go far from home and is always back to eat. If you have any information about a black cat we would love to talk with you. Our kids are pretty upset. Thanks for your help. 

They put up flyers around the neighborhood.

Extremely heavy fireplace insert
Photo by April Macdonald

Meanwhile, down the street, April Macdonald was hearing noises.
Around 48 days ago I swear I heard a cat meowing in my fireplace. It's a very heavy metal fireplace, inserted into the wall. It hasn’t been used for like 20+ years.
When I heard what sounded like a cat, I opened the front of the fireplace but heard nothing. I kept looking. I went outside and heard nothing. The sound went away so I thought maybe it was one of my four cats. 
For the next week or so I kept hearing the noise and would grab all my family members (kids, husband, mom, and anyone who would come over) and ask them to listen. Some heard - some did not. 
Moving forward, about 20 days passed and I still heard it. I went on the roof and took pictures down my huge chimney. I had to tiptoe to put my phone up to see and almost lost the phone - but nothing. 
I went to the fire department. Fire chief came out -  nothing. Called an exterminator. Exterminator came out - nothing. 
45 days later: Monday night at around 8pm we heard a huge thud and a cat distinctively meowing. We opened up the fireplace and went outside - nothing. 
The noise was stronger then ever. Called 911, fire department, cat in a tree complaint, and like four chimney companies to find help. No one could assist me. 
I, along with my husband and mother, was feeling helpless. As I talked to the cat, my mom did a google search and found this company. She called at like 9:42pm and a gentleman answered. My mom told him what was going on and reassured him it wasn’t a prank, that we needed help!!!!!!! 
Kevin from Sound Chimneys and Masonry was in bed but jumped up to come to the rescue. He was at our place by 10pm ready to do what he could. 
Inside the house, he pulled the fireplace insert out of the wall. My husband helped hold it up so I could grab the black kitty who was behind the fireplace 
We were all so excited and shocked that the little boy was still alive. He started to purr the moment I grabbed him. Kevin put our fireplace back. If it wasn’t for his kindness and quick decision to help at such a late hour I don’t want to think of what could have happened. 
This company is now our chimney company from here on out and I am referring everyone and anyone who want kind, quick, and friendly service to this company. We are forever in your debt for your kindness Kevin. Thank you!! 

Royal was so happy to be out of the chimney that
being at the vet was no issue at all.
Photo by April Macdonald

We also want to say a big thank you to Blue Pearl Animal Hospital. If it wasn’t for their quick action to help what at first was thought of as a stray who knows what could of happened.

April saw a battered flyer
Photo by April Macdonald

Once April knew what the cat looked like, she paid attention to the flyers in the neighborhood. The next day she saw a battered flyer about a lost cat - with a photo of a sleek, short haired black cat.

She called immediately and the hopeful owners headed for the Blue Pearl Animal Hospital on Aurora.
Laura King says that when her husband Jared first went to the vet and the cat was confirmed to be Royal, they let Jared hold him and Royal immediately began purring and rubbing his head on Jared. The vet said Royal had not done anything like that before that point.

"Amazingly," said Jared King, "he's alive. It will be a few weeks of recovery for him, but he's home safe. Thanks for all the help over the last several weeks."

The chimney is extremely tall
Photo by April Macdonald
So how did Royal end up down the chimney? And how did he survive for 50 days without food and water? The humans have theories but only Royal knows what really happened.

The only way he could have ended up behind the fireplace insert was to come down the chimney. The chimney is extremely tall. April had to stand on tiptoe and reach her arms high just to get a picture of inside the chimney.

Royal had to get on the roof first and then make a very big jump to the chimney opening.

As for 50 days without food or water, Laura King says "But two factors we can know that I think helped him was his youth (he's less than 18m old) and his size. He was a really big cat, and his heftiness may have helped save him."

Everyone, including Royal, is just thrilled that he is safe at home and recovering from his ordeal.
Laura says, "His recovery has been steady ever since. He is getting around the house well, though he wants to be held most of the time (which was always his personality), and the kids are, of course, eager to accommodate him in this."

April says, "When I messaged the owner yesterday he sent me a pic of his kids with Royal and it was the best feeling knowing they were all reunited!!"


Diane,  June 10, 2019 at 3:14 PM  

What a story that simply warms my heart!

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