For days, the Whislers had been hearing a strange noise around their home, with no idea where it could be coming from. But it wasn't long before an unexpected discovery changed their lives forever…
Best known to TikTok users as @phillyfoodgirl, Kass Whisler was never a stranger to the spotlight. Her spectacular recipes and fun personality earned her an impressive TikTok following of nearly 42,000 users.
But aside from her social media fame, Kass and her family lived a relatively normal life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She and her husband posted funny videos together, and her followers were also treated to posts about her 15-year-old son, as well as her cat, whose name is Haze.
The Strange Noise
But one summer day, they came across something that would change their lives forever. Unlike the usual warm humidity Philly residents are used to having during summer, that particular day had a nice breeze. So Kass decided to crank open a window and let the outside air into the house.
But as soon as she opened the window, Kass heard a strange noise - it almost sounded like someone was whining. She held her breath so she could hear better, and realized whoever was making the sound was on their property. Not knowing what to expect, she and her husband decided to go outside to find out where it was coming from.
The Pipe in the Backyard
Kass slowly followed her husband out into the family’s backyard, and the further the couple walked, the louder the sound became. Soon, they realized the noise was leading them in the direction of a pipe along the outer wall of their house. But what they would soon find was not what they expected at all…
Suddenly, the couple gasped and stopped immediately in their tracks, still several feet away from the pipe. They looked at each other in disbelief; for, barely visible at the pipe’s opening was a tiny face staring at them with triangular ears and small, glowing eyes.
They Had a Visitor
They came to the conclusion that the squeaky noise was coming from the white, fluffy kitten looking out at them from the pipe. It was perhaps just a few weeks old - definitely not grown enough to be out on its own and fend for itself. So where did it come from?
As soon as Kass spotted the little creature, she gasped, “Oh!” and tried calling out to it, making “pspsps” sounds. Wondering where the pipe could possibly lead to, she can be heard asking her husband, “What do you think could be under the deck?”
Everyone wanted to know the answer to that question. Soon, there were thousands of likes and over 100 comments on Kass’ video, with people invested in her story. And it wasn't long before Kass posted a follow-up video, revealing even more puzzling details.
“O. M. G.” read the text over the clip, which has garnered more than 250,000 views. “Come on, baby," Kass called to the kitten, as the squeaky meows continued. “Come here!” she went on, "Come get some food!" But the adorable face just stared back.
Would It Ever Trust Them?
It soon became clear to Kass that she’d have to put in a lot more effort if she wanted to successfully lure the kitten outside. One user suggested, “if they are too feral to approach you could put food out on your porch and sit INSIDE but in view so they don’t feel threatened and work you way up.”
But before Kass and her husband could come up with a strategy to help the kitten out, the TikTok star suddenly noticed something strange about the whole situation. Despite the incessant squeals the couple kept hearing, the kitten’s mouth wasn’t moving at all.
More Than Meets the Eye
Then a sudden thought occurred to her. “Wait - is that the mom lying on babies?” Kass asked her husband as they continued to look into the pipe from afar. “Because that cat’s not sayin’ nothin’.” And TikTok users following her story could tell she was right.
One TikTok user, called @dianacline353, commented on the video, writing, “That kitty is not the one making meows there has to be one behind it.” Another user agreed, writing, “That’s not the one crying.” Little did they know, they were onto something…
Assuming they were right in believing that was the mother they’d spotted, and that the babies were in good hands, Kass and her husband decided to leave them be. “Okay, we’ll leave you guys alone,” the couple could be heard telling the feline family.
“I thought that I was a mom or grandma,” said Kass. “I’ll see you later.” But they didn’t have it in their hearts to just walk away from those squeaky meows without finding out the truth. So they took a few steps closer towards the pipe until they were just a couple of feet away...
A Small Surprise
It was a tiny kitten with a small face and glowing eyes sitting at the edge of the pipe, staring up at Kass and her husband. And to their surprise, they could now see that there was not one, but two kittens! The bad news was, their many hand gestures and "pspsps" sounds were met no response from the small kittens, who continued to stare silently.
Now that they were close enough, they could hear a growling sound, probably coming from the mother, somewhere deeper in the pipe. Kass and her husband still wanted to help, but before they could do or say anything, the small babies turned around and hurried back into pipe and out of sight.
At least now the couple could be sure the kittens were safe with their mother. After leaving some food and treats out for the animals, the two of them went back inside. But that very night when they went to bed, they could still hear the same kitten crying.
It was then that they knew something wasn’t right. So the next day, Kass decided to reach out to a woman she knew from their local animal center, who also conveniently lived in the Whislers’ same development. She texted the woman, asking what she and her husband could possibly do to help the poor animals.
The Sounds Continued...
The woman from the animal center asked Kass if she had any humane traps she could use to lure the kittens out of the pipe. But there was no use. As hard as everyone tried, the kittens just wouldn’t come out of the pipe. And still, the squeaky meows continued…
Yet another surprise awaited the Whislers when they went back outside the next day to check on the two kittens. For some reason, they were nowhere to be found. “We didn’t know where they were, but we could hear the crying,” Kass later informed her followers, who were anxiously waiting for answers.
Suddenly, It All Made Sense
But as they contemplated where the kittens could have possibly gone, they could still hear the small squeals of a kitten somewhere around their house. And it wasn’t until Kass' husband needed something from the basement that all the pieces of the puzzle started coming together...
The squeals were coming from inside the house. As Josh Whisler headed down the stairs and into the basement, the sound grew louder and louder. And that's when it hit him - the fireplace. Had he finally figured out where the mysterious pipe in the yard led to?
The Forgotten Fireplace
More importantly, had the kittens been able to go in and out of their house this whole time? Given that these were feral cats, it was more important now more than ever for the Whislers to finally have some of their questions answered. So Josh went outside to see if he could get to the bottom of it all...
"It’s like a vent, and it leads to a gas fireplace in our basement that we’ve never used since we moved in," Kass later told her followers about the pipe they'd found the kittens in. "It’s never even been turned on. So we kind of didn’t even realize that that vent was there."
"The way our house is set up, it’s on the other side of our air conditioning unit, and we never have to go over there. We’ll go on the grass and stuff, but, like, we just never noticed it. We live in a community with an HOA, so like a lot of that stuff just gets like updated and taken care of by them," she went on to say.
"It wasn’t until this happened that my husband was like, wait, how come the one for the living room has a cap on it, but this one does not?" Kass explained. And that's when the answer suddenly became all too obvious: a third kitten had been stuck somewhere inside this pipe the entire time.
Coming to the Rescue
Knowing that it had been there for a good few days, and was probably extremely thirsty and starving, the family immediately took action. Kass' husband and her son got to work cutting into the metal and using a pair of pliers to try to break it open.
"We were just trying to get him out as soon as possible. We had the clipper things, like we were just using our resources. We had to kind of like Macgyver it," Kass said. Time was of the essence, and everyone was beginning to feel the stress. Meanwhile, the kitten's cries for help from inside the pipe continued...
Not Giving Up
The task soon proved to be far from simple. "Everything was sealed, double sealed and it was actually two tubes," Kass later told her followers. "There was an outer tube of metal and then inside that tube was a smaller tube of metal." They'd begun to worry they wouldn't be able to save the animal's life.
"We also didn’t know where the kitten was," she later revealed. "So we couldn’t go too high or too low. We went in the middle. We couldn't have gone to the base where it kind of bent because that’s where the kitten was laying. And god forbid the story ended with us stalling into the kitten."
But as soon as Kass' son managed to break through the metal, he gasped and quickly took the pliers out of the pipe. Barely visible in the flash coming from Kass' phone were a pair of furry, triangular ears - they now knew exactly where the little creature was.
The instant the metal broke, the sound of the kittens meows grew significantly louder. It was clearly desperate to escape the dangerous situation it was in, and the Whislers were just as anxious to get it out. But now they had to cut even higher, to avoid hurting the kitten.
Pulling It to Safety
At long last, the family managed to saw through the pipe and see the poor kitten at the bottom, squealing for help. Kass' husband, wearing a pair of thick gloves, reached down carefully and pulled the poor animal up the pipe by the scruff of its neck.
The meows immediately stopped as soon as the kitten was pulled to safety. "Hi!" Kass gasped as her husband set the little creature down on a wooden board next to the pipe. "We're your family!" They greeted the kitten with tons of love, with Kass saying, "I think I'm your mom!"
A Moment of Relief
The family was beyond relieved their mission turned out to have a happy ending. "Once we got him out, he stopped crying," Kass explained in a follow-up video. "We gave him some food. He was so hungry, like he was literally ravenous, and he ate and ate and ate."
But the Whislers couldn't relax just yet - they needed to make sure the kitten was okay. Once the little one had been fed properly, they put it in a comfortable carrier and headed towards the animal center. There, they were told that the calico cat they'd just rescued was a male, and not a female, as they had initially thought.
'Murph Danger Whisler'
"People were saying, 'Calico cats are always girls,' and apparently, he's the exception to the rule with a lot of things," Kass said. "So he's definitely a boy." She explained that they'd named him 'Murph Danger Whisler,' so that his initials matched those of 'Memorial Day Weekend,' when he was found.
Now that they had named him and everything, Murph already felt like a part of their little family. But as much as they wanted to take the little guy in as their own, there were a few steps they needed to take first to ensure they were doing what was best for everyone...
"We’re not 100% sure that we’re gonna keep him. And before you freak out - we have another cat," Kass explained. "We’ve had her for 9 years, and we've always tossed around the idea of getting another one, but we love her so much." And as much as they would have loved to get her a brother, they feared how she'd respond.
"We just want to make sure that we’re making a smart decision and not an emotional one. Although we obviously already love him to death," she admitted. But the Whislers knew they couldn't just give up on Murph - so the animal center had an idea...
The 'Trial Run'
They gave the Whislers what Kass called a "trial run" for the weekend. "We have to bring him back to the animal center on tuesday. What they’ll then do is they get him registered into the system, and once he’s registered he becomes a foster," she explained.
"We become his foster parents. We have first dibs on adopting him, that’s not an issue," she said. But once they got him through the whole process, the animal center would then cover the costs for Murph's shots and would even get him neutered. That was the only way to do it.
Adjusting to the New Life
"So we’re gonna go back on Tuesday and do everything else." Kass explained that the little kitten adjusted pretty quickly, and even curled up on her husband's T-shirt the whole night. He also got used to his litter box in no time - it seemed all the stars were aligning...
Murph slept through his first night at the Whislers', and when Kass and her husband went to check on him the next morning, he was all purrs and cuddles. The family was happy to see he'd adjusted so well, since they were eager to turn their "foster" status into "adoption."
A New Sibling
But a certain someone wasn't as enthusiastic about the new family member in the beginning. Little Murph was as curious as a cat can be, and one thing that fascinated him unlike anything else was his sister Haze's tail. And personal space was a bit of a foreign concept to him...
In one video posted by Kass to her @phillyfoodgirl account, Murph appears to slowly approach his tuxedo sister, who's sitting quietly on a chair in the kitchen, minding her own business. Murph, on the other hand? Not so much. He pounces onto Haze's hind leg - a move that the female feline wasn't too happy about.
Haze meowed in protest, as Kass reassured her, saying, "It's okay!" several times. "Murph ready to risk it all," read the caption under the video. But fast forward to just a couple of weeks later, it appeared that Murph and Haze were turning into the best of friends.
In another video, Murph and Haze were hanging out on the couch together. And although Haze still didn't love the idea of Murph playing with her tail all the time, she seemed to let the little guy chew on it for a while before she jumped up and moved to a different relaxing spot.
Helping in the Kitchen
Not only was Murph hanging out with Haze now, but he also appeared to help his mom in the kitchen from time to time. After all, Kass' TikTok account had been dedicated to sharing delicious recipes with her followers before Murph, and now she had a little companion to help her out with all the cooking.
In one video, posted on July 1st, Kass decided to let Murph join her in a little baking sesh. "Everybody's gonna have something to say about this crazy lady who had her kitten on the counter and 'it was disgusting,'" Kass joked, as Murph walked around the baking ingredients, sniffing curiously.
In one of her videos, Kass shared an interesting detail of Murph's rescue story. Her son had reminded her of the whiteboard the family writes their grocery lists on, saying, "Mom, do you remember when we wrote 'another cat' on the board?" Kass then shared that she'd circled it and put a check mark next to it.
And just a few weeks later, the family had found Murph! Kass said they were big on the "law of attraction" in their house. They even added "beach house" and "winning the lottery" to the board as a joke, hoping the universe would listen the same way it did with Murph.
Making It Official
One day, after weeks of anticipation, Kass finally posted the update everyone had been waiting for: the Whislers were officially going to adopt Murph! "Murphy ready to get adopted? Let's go make you official!" the TikTok chef could be heard saying in the video.
Kass and her husband packed their things, placed Murph carefully in his little cage, and headed over to the Providence Animal Center to sign the official documents. Baby Murph was about to be theirs forever, and the Whislers couldn't be more excited.
Going on Vacation
In fact, the kitten and his parents had an even closer bond than the Whislers had expected. When Kass and her family went on a week-long vacation, it was their first time being away from Murph for so long, and they wondered how he would respond to it.
They left the baby kitten with Mr. Whisler's brother, who took good care of Murph while the family was away. But according to Kass, Murph wasn't too happy with them when they returned to pick him up a few days later. Whether it was because he'd forgotten them or he was just upset with them, their trip definitely affected him.
A Furever Family
But it wasn't long before he warmed back up to them again. Just a few hours later, Kass posted an update of her husband and the little kitten, whose purrs of happiness could be heard loud and clear in the video. "Murph was just playing hard to get," one user commented. We think so, too.
And indeed, he was. From his very first meows coming from the pipe leading to their fireplace, to the many zoomies he now loves to do on the Whislers' couch, Murph's journey to his forever home has been quite an adventurous one. But with all the love and joy he's brought with him, it was all worth it.