MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) – Hanover County firefighters on Wednesday pulled a kitten from a storm drain after it had been trapped for three days.

Hanover Fire Department and Animal Control worked together in the rescue. Witnesses who saw it say the kitten may not have lasted another day.

“It could’ve been seriously injured or been left to float away or die,” said Leigh Bolick, one of the responding firefighters. It was a heroic effort to save even the smallest life on Wednesday in Mechanicsville.

It was a heroic effort to save even the smallest life on Wednesday in Mechanicsville. The stray kitten was trapped for more than three days in a storm drain below Ringview Drive.

“You could hear the cat crying in the sewer system,” said neighbor Trey Boze. He and others tried rescuing the kitten themselves, but could not successfully catch it. “You just feel bad for the animal.”

Desperate to save it, residents called Hanover County Animal Control, bringing in fire crews for assistance.

“You could hear the cat when we got there,” said firefighter Ryan Jordan.

Fire crews told 8News it took approximately 20 minutes to rescue the cat, with piping at the bottom of the drain creating an obstacle in the rescue.

“That’s what made it difficult to pinpoint where the cat actually was,” Jordan said. “It’s all concrete so the sound echoes.”

When Jordan spotted the kitten at the bottom of the drain, he was able to chase it down to partner Bolick at the opposite end of the pipe. Moments later, Bolick brought the cat to safety. The firefighters called the rescue a small victory for the department.

“Whether it’s a person or an animal, it’s always nice to have a positive impact,” Jordan said.

Neighbors told 8News they were relieved to know the kitten is safe.

“As long as the cat’s healthy, you’re good to go,” Boze said.

The kitten is being nursed back to health at Hanover County Animal Control. We’ll keep you updated on whether it will be up for adoption.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.