A kitten rescued by Costa Mesa firefighters from a South Coast Plaza landscaping pipe is in need of a home.
Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue received a call about 7:30 p.m. Friday about meowing coming from a 3-inch-diameter vertical pipe that goes six feet underground. Firefighters shined a flashlight into the pipe opening and could see a furry ball.
"The kitten went down head-first and callers said they heard the kitten meowing," said fire Capt. Chris Coates.
Firefighters dug until they could cut the pipe and then pulled the feline out by her tail. She had no collar or microchip.
Crew members gave her the name Piper.
Firefighter Craig Bates took the kitten back to the fire station before taking her home to his cat-loving fiancée, Rachael Stoopes. Since the rescue, Piper has received a much-needed bath, and the couple are taking care of her until a permanent home is found.
South Coast Plaza security officers told firefighters that they periodically see stray cats roaming the shopping center's grounds and suspect the kitten's mother is a resident of the property, Coates said.