Buster the cat was snoozing under a bush when he got spooked by a neighbor and a barking dog. The cat fled up a tree. Nine days later he was still there.
At first, Buster just went 50 feet up the tree. But when another neighbor’s son tried to rescue him by climbing up a ladder, Buster climbed another 50 feet and wouldn’t come down.
Then it started to rain.
Buster’s mom, Linda Megretto, said she called the local humane society, animal services and the sheriff’s department, but couldn’t get help for various reasons, including liability issues.
“Generally the cat will make its way down one way or another,” Fire Chief Billy Gibson said. “I’ve been a firefighter 20 years and never found a dead cat in a tree.”
But days later, Buster was still in the tree and had weathered two thunderstorms.
Finally, Linda’s husband, Andrew, who is disabled and in his 60s, climbed a 40-foot ladder and coaxed Buster down.
“I take strays and get them fixed and keep them as barn cats,” Linda said. “This was Buster’s ninth day, and I figured he’d gone through his ninth life. My husband is the hero.”
What do you say? Have you ever tried to rescue a cat from a tree? Tell us what happened in a comment below or on Facebook.
What you can do: Sometimes, attempting a rescue simply drives a frightened animal further up the tree. Often, putting a bowl of food at the bottom of the tree will entice the animal down. But not always. And fire department and other local agencies have different policies. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.