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MANIC RESCUE PUTS PET LOVER IN HOSP


SAVED BY A WHISKER:Chris Muth and cat Rumi are both thrilled to be out of captivity in Brooklyn. The contractor was locked in a psych ward after he cut through walls to free the pet - and docs didn't believe his story.

By KAVITA MOKHA and LEONARD GREENE

I'm not crazy, doctor. There really is a cat in my wall.
A Brooklyn man found himself locked up in a loony bin for four days after he smashed down walls in three apartments trying to rescue a fugitive feline.
The bizarre tale began when a mischievous kitty named Rumi decided to explore a hole in the wall of a condo undergoing renovation in Carroll Gardens.
Unfortunately for Rumi, the hole opened on a 30-foot shaft and he fell to the bottom.
The contractor, Chris Muth, had been watching Rumi for a friend and panicked when he went missing.
He couldn't reach the cat from that apartment - even after enlarging the hole.
So the super, Doug Steiner, got him permission to make a small hole in the wall of another unit.
But, Steiner said, "He opened up all the walls. I said, 'What the hell are you doing? The owner's going to flip out.' "
Muth couldn't catch Rumi from that hole either, so he broke into a third apartment, and again started smashing walls.
Steiner had as much success coaxing Muth out as Muth did with Rumi.
So the super called cops - who shipped Muth to a local psych ward.
Rumi remained in the catacombs of the condo - a former church. And the shrinks decided Muth was suffering from bats in his belfry.
The hospital records say he had a "bizarre delusion [he] was trying to save a cat of his friend," The Brooklyn Paper reported.
But it all ended happily.
Muth finally convinced the doctors that he wasn't a wacko.
And Rumi, tired of his 15 days in solitary, let himself be caught by professional cat rescuers using a fishing-pole-like device.
"After 60 hours stuck down there, I thought the cat was going to die," Muth told The Brooklyn Paper.
"Otherwise I wouldn't have panicked like I did.
"I can fix holes, but I can't bring a cat back to life."

http://www.nypost.com/seven/07252008/news/regionalnews/krazy_kat_got_me_kommitted_121467.htm
 
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