Cat Rescued from Tree

Pic: NewsFour's Ross Waldron

Pic: NewsFour’s Ross Waldron

The headline above is one you might expect to see in a local newspaper.

It has long been used as a comedy foil in film and television when a regional or local paper is shown. A quick look through the NewsFour archives doesn’t throw up any cat/tree drama however, so we thought we’d find out if it’s as common as fiction would have it. It seems as if it is a lot more common than anyone could have imagined.

Obviously cats have been getting stuck in trees since cats were invented. Human intervention is a new phenomenon though, and even newer is emergency services intervention. The image of firemen climbing ladders to rescue an errant feline is probably one we don’t really want to see, but it is still the first port of call for many people worried about their cat stuck in a tree.

An off-the-record chat with a serving firefighter threw up many instances where 999 calls have been made by cat owners who fully expected ladder units to arrive and save the day. The Dublin Fire Service directs all callers to the DSPCA, who will either advise about ways to coax the animal down from the tree, such as leaving cat food or tuna at the base, or send someone out who is qualified to rescue. They suggest giving it time but stress that you should contact them immediately if: The cat is stuck up a pylon; is in imminent danger; it’s a hot day; the cat appears to be injured; or if it’s a kitten or young cat.

One cat in tree rescue business has a website with the following pearl of wisdom: How to tell if your cat may be a jumper: The cat starts looking in the direction of open space then back at you and then back towards open space. Good to know, but will the Gardaí help talk kitty down? A local Garda source told us that “it wouldn’t be much good relying on us. With manpower stretched to breaking, the cat would be well down by the time we got there. We get non-emergency calls about animals all the time though – we just direct them all to the DSPCA.”

By Steve Kingston

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