LEWISTON — The cat's name is Kloie and she spent a chunk of Tuesday night trapped in the canal.
The cat, nearly two months pregnant, was plucked from the frigid water after more than a dozen people showed up to help with the rescue.
"It took two hours," said Jessica Gilliam, "and just about every agency was there to get her out."
Jessica lives with Kloie and two other cats in an apartment on Lincoln Street. Around sundown on Tuesday, a neighbor came rushing over to tell her that her money cat — the pregnant one — had fallen into the canal.
"I heard the splash and thought it was a beaver," said that neighbor, a man named Randy. "I looked down there and saw it was a cat. She kept trying to climb up out of there, but she'd just fall back into the water."
Escaping from that particular stretch of the canal — it runs between Lincoln and Oxford streets — is a near-impossible feat. The canal flows between two rock walls roughly 20 feet high. Just getting down there would have been dangerous.
Enter the professionals.
Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout went to the scene, as did Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle. When they arrived, Kloie was still trying to get out of the water.
"When I got there, she was sitting on a rock," Strout said. "She tried to jump up on the wall but fell back into the water."
It was believed Kloie had been lounging beneath the fence next to the canal when she rolled over and tumbled into the water. The cat was obviously cold and uncomfortable as rescue attempts got under way.
"She was crying a lot," Jessica said. "But mostly because she was mad."
Strout and McGonagle realized they needed a ladder to descend into the canal if Kloie were to be saved. Enter the Lewiston Fire Department, with long ladders and equipment for any emergency.
Several firefighters assisted at the scene, setting up lights and bringing out the ladders and hip waders.
"We had the whole canal lit up," Strout said.
In the end, it was the animal control officer who got down into the water and plucked Kloie from between a pair of rocks. The cat was wet and cold but otherwise unharmed. She was returned to the warmth of Jessica's apartment.
"She was drenched and she was (angry)," Gilliam said. "The first thing she did when she got back here was eat."
Understandable. Due to deliver by the end of November, Kloie is eating for a litter these days.