by: TOM MOUNG - Rainier firefighter and Mayor Jerry Cole happily poses Oct. 2 with a family of kittens he pulled to safety from a sewer drain.The Rainier mayor pulled a family of 2-week-old kittens to safety last week after a resident heard faint purring coming from a storm drain.

Mayor Jerry Cole, also a lieutenant at Columbia River Fire & Rescue’s Rainier station, responded to the Oct. 2 call with fellow firefighter Tom Moung. They found five kittens at the bottom of a storm drain.

Cole reached into the deep opening and fetched the felines. Columbia Humane Society staff quickly found a foster home for the cats. The no-kill nonprofit is looking for a permanent home.

“If someone is going to take two of them, they can name them ‘Tom and Jerry,’” Cole said with a laugh, referencing the famous cartoon cat and mouse duo and also the names of himself and Moung.

But Columbia River Fire & Rescue’s kitten aid efforts didn’t stop there. Later that day, Cole said his department got another rescue call because a cat got stuck in a tree.

The humane society is asking for donations to help get the “storm drain kitties” the veterinarian care they need. Visit to learn more.

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