Man adopts ‘Stormy’ after rescuing it from Sacramento flooding

A kitten that was just seconds from drowning landed in the best possible hands, the…

A kitten that was just seconds from drowning landed in the best possible hands, the hands of Skip Campbell, a Sacramento man who acted quickly to rescue it from fast-moving water. The record-setting storm on Oct. 24 flooded Chicken Ranch Slough, which runs behind Skip’s home. As he and his wife Nancy walked down to check on the water levels, Nancy was recording video when she heard the distress of a drowning animal. “There’s a cat! It’s drowning!” Nancy cried as she pointed out the dark head of a small kitten bobbing in the rushing floodwater. Within seconds, Skip waded out into the fast-moving water, aiming for the downstream position where the cat was headed. Nancy was afraid it might be too late. In the video, you can see the kitten struggling, being pulled underwater several times. Just as it appeared the cat wasn’t going to make it, Skip reached out. In one decisive motion he pulled the cat out of the water by the scruff of its neck. It took a strong grip to hang on to a wet, mad, feral cat, but he did it. He carried the kitten to shore. The video was so compelling, the Campbells were able to license it to the social media agency “Storyful” and it went viral. For most people, that was the end of the story. We caught up with the Campbells a few days later, and by then the floodwater had receded. They showed us the site of the rescue, and we found out why Skip moved through that area so confidently when it was flooded. Turns out, he grew up in that area. His home has been in the family since 1966. “I kinda know the terrain, and it’s not safe to go out in the water like that, but for me, I knew right where it was flat so it wasn’t as much of a risk,” Skip explained. It also turns out he’s used to feral cats. Many of them live along the slough, and he’s caught and adopted a couple of them. Skip and Nancy took the kitten home and warmed it up. Once it was dry and more comfortable, they could see it has fluffy gray fur and bright eyes. It’s wild and skittish, but this is where the rescue has taken a new direction. Within a day the kitten was snuggling in Nancy’s lap. “It likes to hide, not very comfortable coming up to you, but definitely more tame,” Nancy said as the kitten tried to hide in her hair. At first, the Campbells decided they would work to socialize the feral kitty so they could adopt it out.”It’s not trying to scratch or bite us at all — it’s just kind of timid trying to figure out. It’s never had a roof over its head before, so it’s just trying to figure out its surroundings,” Skip said. They had reasons they couldn’t adopt it. Nancy worried that her mom might be allergic to it. Skip has stepped into the role of acting chief information officer for the California Air Resources Board and felt their family had enough demands. But they began calling it Stormy. The kitten began purring when they snuggled it. You can guess what happened next. Skip broke the news to us with this email: “Well, here’s an update: I think we are keeping Stormy. Shocker I know. She snuggled with my older daughter Michelle last night for a few hours and it was over.” Stormy will have lots of company in her new home: another rescue cat, a dog and two goats, in addition to her human family. For a kitten now officially named Stormy Campbell, the future couldn’t look brighter.

A kitten that was just seconds from drowning landed in the best possible hands, the hands of Skip Campbell, a Sacramento man who acted quickly to rescue it from fast-moving water.

The record-setting storm on Oct. 24 flooded Chicken Ranch Slough, which runs behind Skip’s home. As he and his wife Nancy walked down to check on the water levels, Nancy was recording video when she heard the distress of a drowning animal.

“There’s a cat! It’s drowning!” Nancy cried as she pointed out the dark head of a small kitten bobbing in the rushing floodwater.

Within seconds, Skip waded out into the fast-moving water, aiming for the downstream position where the cat was headed.

Nancy was afraid it might be too late. In the video, you can see the kitten struggling, being pulled underwater several times. Just as it appeared the cat wasn’t going to make it, Skip reached out. In one decisive motion he pulled the cat out of the water by the scruff of its neck.

It took a strong grip to hang on to a wet, mad, feral cat, but he did it. He carried the kitten to shore.

The video was so compelling, the Campbells were able to license it to the social media agency “Storyful” and it went viral. For most people, that was the end of the story.

We caught up with the Campbells a few days later, and by then the floodwater had receded. They showed us the site of the rescue, and we found out why Skip moved through that area so confidently when it was flooded. Turns out, he grew up in that area. His home has been in the family since 1966.

“I kinda know the terrain, and it’s not safe to go out in the water like that, but for me, I knew right where it was flat so it wasn’t as much of a risk,” Skip explained.

It also turns out he’s used to feral cats. Many of them live along the slough, and he’s caught and adopted a couple of them.

Skip and Nancy took the kitten home and warmed it up. Once it was dry and more comfortable, they could see it has fluffy gray fur and bright eyes. It’s wild and skittish, but this is where the rescue has taken a new direction.

Within a day the kitten was snuggling in Nancy’s lap.

“It likes to hide, not very comfortable coming up to you, but definitely more tame,” Nancy said as the kitten tried to hide in her hair.

At first, the Campbells decided they would work to socialize the feral kitty so they could adopt it out.

“It’s not trying to scratch or bite us at all — it’s just kind of timid trying to figure out. It’s never had a roof over its head before, so it’s just trying to figure out its surroundings,” Skip said.

They had reasons they couldn’t adopt it. Nancy worried that her mom might be allergic to it. Skip has stepped into the role of acting chief information officer for the California Air Resources Board and felt their family had enough demands.

But they began calling it Stormy. The kitten began purring when they snuggled it. You can guess what happened next. Skip broke the news to us with this email:

“Well, here’s an update: I think we are keeping Stormy. Shocker I know. She snuggled with my older daughter Michelle last night for a few hours and it was over.”

Stormy will have lots of company in her new home: another rescue cat, a dog and two goats, in addition to her human family.

For a kitten now officially named Stormy Campbell, the future couldn’t look brighter.