FORT SMITH, Ark. — On Thursday, July 7 afternoon, the Fort Smith Fire Department went on a call to rescue a cat. No, it's not what you're thinking, not a cat stuck in a tree, but a kitten inside an ATM.
No one is quite sure how the kitten managed to get into the ATM or when, but Alexis Bloom, a cat and kennel tech at Fort Smith Animal Haven, has some ideas.
"Probably trying to find shade is why, but I can't tell you how," Bloom said.
It's not every day you hear tiny meowing from the machine designed to take and give out cash, but it's what happened at the Regions Bank off 8th and A Streets in Fort Smith.
"This is actually my first experience with a cat getting stuck in an ATM," said Ashley Deane, a vet tech at Fort Smith Animal Haven. "You know, I never thought that somebody would be able to go up and make a withdrawal and get a cat out instead of some cash, so now we have both."
The kitten was taken to Fort Smith Animal Haven dehydrated, hungry and in need of a name.
The gray tabby was named Cash, what better to name a would-be cat burglar?
Cash came to the shelter weighing in at just under a pound. The wannabe heavyweight showed his new caretakers some attitude after scarfing down some food and water and getting a much-needed bath.
"He's a little spicy just 'cause he's scared, which is typical and it's gonna happen," Deane said.
But Cash has been adjusting well to his new environment and getting all the T.L.C. he needs to make a full recovery.
"Generally, after a couple of days with our handlers caring for them, they become less spicy and just a little bit mild so they can come a little bit more workable," Deane said.
In a short amount of time, the care is already paying off.
"Once you pick him up, he's just a big purr box, that's all, he's just a huge purr box, he's the sweetest little baby," Bloom said.
Before Cash can be adopted to his forever home, Fort Smith Animal Haven says their first priority is getting his weight up. After that, they can begin to give him vaccinations and have him fostered. Once he is fully vaccinated and spends time socializing, he will be ready to be adopted.
The shelter has a number of animals ready to be fostered or adopted though.
Cash is sure to be at the top of the list, but employees are asking for people to visit the others and check out their adoption and fostering programs