The Coast News Group
houdini kitten
Houdini was found trapped in the walls of a home. Courtesy photo
CitiesCommunityCommunityNewsRancho Santa FeRegion

Orphan kitten ‘Houdini’ pulls off miraculous escape

RANCHO SANTA FE — With the help of some friends, a two-month-old kitten pulled off an escape worthy of a Las Vegas magic act.

The little feline was discovered trapped in the walls of a Lancaster, Calif. home and was later named “Houdini” by staff members upon arriving at Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.  

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 yet – finding a forever home.

In mid-November, a 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 Tracy Woodworth, assistant manager at Helen Woodward. “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. The homeowner began breaking through the walls, finally reaching the kitten who was dehydrated and malnourished but rescued in the nick of time. 

Just a few weeks later, Alejandra Martinez received a desperate call. At only 16, Martinez is the Simi Valley feral-cat expert. Martinez’s nickname is “Kat” because of her earnest dedication to the feral cat population and her group distributes feral cat information, assists with trap, neuter and release, fosters kittens and helps find them homes. 

Martinez has seen her fair share of unique situations over the years but last week’s call was the most extraordinary.

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. 

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