The ancient, creaking freight elevator in my ancient, creaking building is right across the courtyard from my front door. Since the weather has finally changed from blistering to balmy, I had the front door open (with a baby gate across it to keep Miss Sneaky from sneaking out for some illicit sniffing) this morning. A girl came to the door and asked for help – her cat was trapped in the bottom of the freight elevator.
I suggested she call the Fire Department – I know for a fact that firemen, even volunteer ones, rescue cats – but she was convinced that she could bring the elevator down just far enough to reach over the platform and catch the errant kitty. The elevator descended properly, but then stuck stubbornly. I ran up to the second and third floors to try and call the elevator up, but to no avail. It refused to go up or down. I have seldom met an elevator more adamantly opposed to working on the sabbath.
I paged the building manager, but he was not home or not answering, which is the usual result when you phone or page him. I lent the girl a flashlight, so she could see that the cat was OK (the cat was loudly informing us of our incompetency and her need for food), and a towel, which she hoped to hold over the edge, thinking the cat would climb on to it and be pulled up. She must be a neophyte cat keeper if she thinks cats will do what you want them to.
Finally, another of the building’s residents walked by, and he knew a way to override the stalled elevator. So the cat was rescued, and all is right in the world.