Firefighter Adopts Kitten He Saved After Developing 'Very Special Bond' During the Cat's Rescue

Brandon Mulvaney knew he wanted to adopt Huntley the kitten after pulling the small stray cat out of an underground pipe in Saginaw, Michigan, this August

Rescuers Adopts Kitten He Saved from Pipe
Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Mulvaney

Firefighter Brandon Mulvaney's family just got a bit bigger and furrier.

In August, Mulvaney — a firefighter with Michigan's Saginaw Fire Department — received an alert at 1 a.m. about an animal trapped in a storm drain. Mulvaney and several others were dispatched to respond to the call and found a tiny kitten trapped below ground.

After conferring with the other members of his crew and Saginaw County Animal Care & Control (SCACC) — which had officers on the scene to assist with the rescue — Mulvaney descended seven feet down a maintenance hole to reach the pipe with the kitten.

"I crawled on my hands and knees into a smaller pipe approximately ten more feet to find the smaller pipe that the kitten was in. After a few minutes of waiting and calling for the cat, he peeked out of the pipe, and I grabbed him and carried him out. At that moment, I knew I wanted the kitten because he came right to me," Mulvaney tells PEOPLE of the rescue.

After bringing the little cat back up to the surface, the firefighter wrapped the kitten in a towel, took a quick picture to celebrate the successful rescue, and handed the animal over to a SCACC officer.

Mulvaney knew that couldn't be the last time he saw the kitten, so he kept in touch with SCACC to get updates on the feline's recovery.

"I heard back about his current state of health and approximate age, which was a few weeks old at this point, so he was a baby. During this phone call is when I decided to adopt him because he deserved a better life than being a feral cat," the firefighter said of learning the kitten he rescued was a stray, adding that he couldn't ignore the "very special bond" he had with the pet.

Rescuers Adopts Kitten He Saved from Pipe
Courtesy of Brandon Mulvaney

"I called once a week for about two and a half months until I got the approval for adoption," Mulvaney added.

Mulvaney and his family made the kitten's place in their family official in October. The firefighter, his wife, and their kids went to Saginaw County Animal Care & Control to adopt the cat. They decided to name him Huntley after one of the roads at the intersection where Mulvaney first met the feline.

Rescuers Adopts Kitten He Saved from Pipe
Courtesy of Brandon Mulvaney

The adoption was supported by BISSELL Pet Foundation and their national "Empty the Shelters" campaign, which funds the cost of pet adoption fees. Huntley is one of over 61,000 pets that have found a home thanks to the event.

Huntley is adjusting well to his new life. The "spitfire" fits right in with the Mulvaneys' four small children and dog and has already earned a "love bug" reputation.

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