From the dark sewer system outside Kohl's, 251 William St., cries of a kitten echoed to the street and were heard by concerned passers-by.
Calls about this stranded kitten were coming into the Lycoming County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the City of Williamsport's Department of Street and Parks and the mayor's office.
John Grado, the city's community development director, noticed the phone calls and told his wife, Debbie, about this kitten.
The Grado family's cat of nine years, Jazzy, was a long-haired orange tiger cat. Jazzy had passed away in his sleep the Monday before these stranded kitten calls begin to come in.
Reports were that the kitten also was a long-haired orange tiger cat.
John and Debbie knew it was fate, so they agreed they would adopt the kitten after it was rescued.
"When he said calls came in [saying] it was still down there, I knew we had to have that cat," Debbie said.
The phone calls also poured into the Lycoming County SPCA.
Vickie Stryker, executive director of the SPCA, said their first call the shelter received was June 12.
The shelter immediately sent Andrew Swank, staff member, and Larry Woltz, humane officer, to try to catch the kitten.
Streets and parks department employees from the city also responded.
The two SPCA staff members ascended into the sewer but couldn't catch him.
"It went so far back into the pipes they couldn't reach it and it wouldn't come to them," Stryker said. "It would hide in the pipe and look up. You could see its little head peek up at you."
At first, no traps were set because of impending rain. The rescuers were concerned that the kitten would get in the trap and possibly drown.
So Swank set up a makeshift towel ladder and put it into the drain, so if the kitten found it, he could climb out.
Over that weekend, more than an inch of rain fell.
Grado said he was worried the cat would drown, but that wasn't the case. Reports still were coming in that the kitten could be heard crying.
The SPCA went back and began to set box traps, and checked them every day, more than once a day.
Every check would come up empty - no kitten.
"People were feeding the kitten, so it wouldn't use the trap," Stryker said. "It became very frustrating because we wanted to get the kitten out so it would not suffer in the sewer pipe."
Grado said he could see sardines and cat food in the catch basin of the pipe. He said the public was dropping food in basin for the kitten. The SPCA posted signs asking people to stop feeding the kitten so he could be safely trapped.
Stryker said the staff at the shelter were constantly fielding phone calls about this incident, but staff was out there everyday, trying to save the kitten.
"I can't even imagine if I totaled up the man hours we used trying to catch that kitten," Stryker said.
Those who knew this little kitten was down in that sewer alone would come along and play with it.
Stryker said people had strings with toys attached and would lower them down.
"We had audiences pretty much daily. People would go by and wonder what we were looking for," she added.
On June 21, the SPCA, Grado, crew members from construction company HRI and PPL that were working in the area helped to lift a large grate with a front-end loader in a section of the sewer so another trap could be set.
Grado gave Stryker his card and told her that he and his wife wanted to adopt the kitten when its was rescued.
Stryker said there were about 60 guys from these crews helping, with everyone trying to get this kitten rescued.
"They were so generous with their time and we are very appreciative for their help," she said.
Grado also was checking the traps and said that although they were empty, he could still hear the kitten crying.
The following day, HRI helped to lift the grate again, and the kitten finally was caught.
"It was a joyful experience," Styker said.
The Grados named the kitten Kohl, because of where he was rescued.
Debbie wholeheartedly believes that fate played a role in bring him into their lives.
"This was meant to be," she said.
Kohl was a little wild when he first arrived to the Grados. John said he would hide and run away from them and their grandchildren.
"He wouldn't come to us at all," Grado said.
A week later, it was evident that Kohl has settled in to his new life as he climbed the furniture and played in the living room.
"When I came in today, I called his name 'Kohl' and he came running," Debbie said with a smile.
He is used to company and likes the grandkids now, the Grados said.
The Grados even said Kohl now sleeps in bed with them at night.
It still is a mystery to how Kohl got into that sewer pipe: He could have fallen in or was part of a litter that may have washed there.
But most important for his new family is that he is happy, healthy and free.