Kitten still counts 9 lives



Officer Randy Emery holds up a kitten he found behind an engine. Emery has adopted Mini after hearing the sounds of an animal in distress coming from a minivan on campus.

Chris Koorzen, Lamp writer

SPRINGFIELD — Coming into work expecting a routine day and leaving as a surrogate father, Monday turned out to be quite a surprise for Officer Randy Emery of the Lincoln Land Community College Police Department. 

It started approximately at 10:30 a.m. while he was on patrol over by the Workforce Careers Center.  

“I heard an animal in distress, it was louder then quieter, [and] then I didn’t hear anything”. 

Emery enlisted the help of a nearby student, who confirmed the faint noise, and together they tracked the source to a nearby minivan. Efforts to entice the cautious kitten from her hiding spot were unsuccessful. With additional support from administrative personnel, they were able to locate the owner of the vehicle. 

“I just waited till his class was out [then] he went out there and opened the hood”, Emery said. 

Perched in a tight spot between the back of the engine and the top of the transmission, Emery scooped the little feline from the dangerous area with a reassuring hand. 

“She was really little, and I could tell she wanted to be found”, he said. 

From there she was taken to the station to wait in a safe space until Emery got off shift. Quick-thinking Officer Kathleen Jacoby dubbed the kitten “Mini” as a namesake of where she was found. 

How the kitten got there is still unclear, but Mini was lucky that Emery was around to hear her cry. 

“I think all of us are that same way. Our heart is in the right place, it’s just whether you’re in the right place to help”, he said. 

Emery adopted little Mini into a loving family where most of the members have four legs. She’ll be making her trip to the vet soon for a checkup and to get her vaccinations. 

Animals on Lincoln Land main campus is not unusual. The natural landscape attracts many visitors and sometimes they find themselves in trouble. From baby geese that get stuck in storm drains to deer that get themselves tangled in batting nets, the officers from LLCCPD dealt with plenty of scenarios before. Students and faculty are encouraged to report sightings of animals in distress to our helpful police department. 

The LLCCPD can be contacted at 217-786-2278.