John Ramos and his family were just looking for a new home. Instead, they found a former resident boarded up inside a boarded-up house.


"We were walking around the house," Ramos said, which is on the 11500 block of 3rd Avenue, "and we heard the cat following us around inside, crying and jumping at the windows."


The Ramoses sprang into action.


"We tried to find an opening and there was no way for it to get out," Ramos said. The family managed to get the front door open an inch or so, but no more. "She was sticking her paws out, like, 'Help me, help me.'"


The family got food and water for the 2- to 3-year-old tabby. The foreclosed house had been sealed for two months by the time the Ramoses stopped by on March 8. They called Hesperia Animal Control, which came and rescued the cat, bringing her to the city's shelter.


"She wasn't in there the entire time it was boarded up," Hesperia Animal Control supervisor Suzanne Edson said, "or she'd be much skinnier."


Or maybe there was once a mouse problem in the 3rd Avenue house.


"She's dirty enough to have been in there two months," Edson said. "She's been doing non-stop eating for two days."


"It's a new one on me," Hesperia code enforcement supervisor Tony Genovesi said. "Typically, when we go through a house and board it ... we take photographs of it, inside and out. Unless an animal was hiding," if they saw any abandoned pets, "we'd obviously call animal control to pick it up. ... We've never had anything like this happen."


The Ramoses, whose 11-year-old cat had died three weeks before, are now in the process of adopting the cat and will bring it home on Friday.


"It's just fate that we stopped by," Ramos said.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.