DETROIT (WWJ) A delicate ginger cat saved in August during a harrowing rescue by the Michigan Humane Society truly has nine lives — and now he gets to live out the rest of them in comfort.

Sterling Heights resident Julie Frontera held her new best friend for the first time Monday night at the Michigan Humane Society Center for Animal Care in Detroit. The cat formerly known as “Rudy” seemed more than happy to get to know his new caretaker.

“I’m happy to finally see him because I was fighting for something I hadn’t held yet,” Frontera said, cradling her new kitten.

Frontera first saw her new friend in a video that captured a tiny 5-week old kitten being pulled from a downtown Detroit drainpipe by a Humane Society rescue squad.

Frontera says she’s overjoyed that after a few weeks inside the shelter her little feline friend is finally coming home. And along with a new life – the little kitty has a new name.

Rudy is now Hank, named in honor of the Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg.

Hank drew national attention in late August when the Michigan Humane Society’s Rescue team responded to a call from the Wyoming and Grand River area of Detroit concerning a kitten that had become trapped in a drainpipe. A passersby heard him pitifully wailing.

Just five weeks old, the stray kitten was so small he had fallen into an uncovered drainpipe underneath a porch. The MHS Rescue team responded immediately and was successful in freeing him after more than an hour of work. Video of the rescue is available HERE.

Michigan Humane Society Spokesman Kevin Hatman says the rescue was quite an undertaking.

“We had to dig in, basically took apart the porch, dug down in there, broke apart the pipe, reached down there with a claw and pulled him out,” Hatman said.

After the rescue, Rudy, along with his siblings who were found at the scene, were placed into foster care with one of MHS’ In-Home Heroes until they were old enough to be placed for adoption.

Rudy’s siblings were also adopted Tuesday night.

“I’m just glad he’s going to be in a nice warm bed,” Frontera said about her new charge.


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