Cat magic: With help from some friends, tiny orphan kitten pulls off miraculous escape

Orphan kitten Houdini’s greatest trick will be finding her forever home.
Orphan kitten Houdini’s greatest trick will be finding her forever home.

With the help of some friends, a tiny two-month-old kitten just pulled off an escape worthy of a Las Vegas magic act. Named Houdini by the Helen Woodward Animal Center staff, the little feline was discovered trapped in the walls of a Lancaster, Calif., home. Now, thanks to a homeowner unafraid of breaking through some walls, and the dedication of a passionate 16-year-old, Houdini has made it to Helen Woodward Animal Center and is on her way to pulling off the best trick of her life – finding a forever home.

Alejandra Martinez received a desperate call in mid-November. At only 16 years old, Martinez is the Simi Valley feral cat expert. She requested and received her first live trap at the age of 10 when she made the honor roll. By 2017, she had founded a TNR (Trap, Neuter Release) program. Nicknamed Kat because of her earnest dedication to the feral cat population, her group distributes feral cat information, assists with TNR, fosters kittens, and helps find homes for those kittens.

Martinez has seen her fair share of unique situations over the years but the recent call was the most extraordinary. A Lancaster family had become unsettled by constant quiet meows coming from somewhere within their home. They searched every room, cabinet, and awning and finally realized that a kitten was trapped within their walls.

“It’s hard to say how it occurred,” said Helen Woodward Animal Center Animal Care Assistant Manager Tracy Woodworth. “It’s a very tiny kitten and its mother may have been carrying it along the roof or near a crack in the wall. If it fell and slipped in, the mother wouldn’t have been able to retrieve it.”

It is also not clear how long the kitten was trapped but its desperate cries signaled that there was no time to delay. In an act of selflessness, the homeowner began breaking through his walls, finally reaching the kitten who was dehydrated and malnourished but rescued in the nick of time. He reached out to Martinez who took over from there.

Martinez fostered the kitten and helped it regain its strength, then connected with Helen Woodward Animal Center rescue partner Forgotten Angels to transfer the kitten to the center.

“She is really an incredible kitten,” explained Woodworth. “You can see it just by looking at her. We’re convinced she has some magic in her and she’s definitely going to cast a love spell over her new forever family.”

Houdini is now available for adoption. For more information on Houdini and other available orphan pets at Helen Woodward Animal Center, contact the Adoptions Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 1, or visit — Helen Woodward Animal Center news release