Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Don't you love a good rescue story?
I came across this yesterday and wanted to share..
Adele Harland's eighteen month old kitty "Diesel" climbed up a tree. Not just any ol tree, but a 60+ foot tree cause he was 60 feet up.. For five days he sat there crying, afraid to climb down, and then the meowing stopped. No one would help her. The tree service people she called only had the ability to get 30 feet up into the tree. They were not willing to risk going up any further. The fire department also would not help, they are unwilling to put the firefighters at risk either. Finally after a facebook plea, Kyle Watkinson - a 15 year old boy who likes climbing and who is very good at it went over and got the kitty down.
YEA for Kyle!! So wonderful that he would hear the plea, have the skills, take the time and actually save the kitty. I think this is an even better story then Christian Slater saving a duck. (I will eventually stop talking about that)
It stinks that no professional organization could help poor Diesel. You would think there would be SOME help somewhere for a poor cat stuck in a tree for more then two days. But alas it seems no where is safe from companies and governments more concerned about "risk". I totally agree that people shouldn't risk their life to save an animal, but there is risk and then there is risk. And frankly I think a fire department with a bucket truck designed to get into tall buildings should be able to help a citizen out.. I mean not if there is a fire going on somewhere else, but I'm sure at some point in those last three days they were sitting around with nothing to do.
But what stinks more then there really wasn't any help was all the incredibly CRUEL comments that usually follow a cat stuck up a tree story. The one I hate the most, the one that makes me want to slap some sense into people is the "you have never seen a cat skeleton in a tree" - seriously? You are that stupid that you think this is a valid argument? First of all if you don't think the cat is hungry enough after the first day to get down on it's own if it were able, then I invite you over to my house at feeding time. Just twelve hours with out food and my cats will tell you they are STARVED.. I'll let you watch them gobble down their food like it has been days for you or I. Then there is that annoying "science" behind an animal dying in a tree. I mean seriously! Have you ever seen a bird skeleton in a tree? a chipmunk? a squirrel?? What, do you think skeletons just hang out all joined together just because that is how you see them in science class or in a book? How about the fact that there are way too many to mention carnivore and scavengers who would make fairly short work of a body.. bones and all.
*sigh* I can't believe I'm dignifying that with a reply. Connie - stop feeding the trolls.
Lets go back to this poor kitty in the tree. Why he went up I have no idea. Was he frightened up there? Could be. Was he horribly curious, could be that too. In the UK there is a completely different state of mind to keeping cats indoors. Not quite sure why, I would imagine all of the dangers that are here in the US are there too, but I would imagine someone from the UK would be more able to answer that part of this thought... but we'll ignore that, cause the kitty is already up the tree.
Climbing up is pretty easy. They have claws that curve out and down, so they naturally sink in and give purchase to the kitty to pull up. Kind of like how you would grip a bar if you were going to do a pull up. Now imagine you are above the bar and you can't tighten your grip (cause claws are static and have no muscles) you'd fall right off. Well a kitty going down can't use the claws because out and down doesn't help going down. If they can't reach a branch or perch, they are going to fall.
I remember being out in the woods looking for "Smoky" my childhood kitty. We let him out - hey, it was the 80s. He was lucky he lived to a ripe old age dying from cancer a few years after I got married (I got him on a school field trip to a dairy barn when I was in second grade). I had found him up a tree too afraid to climb down. I called and called and he meowed and meowed. I can only image what names he came up with for me at the time. Picturing it now I can only image how silly he must have thought I was since he had already determined he could not make it. But I was determined to help my furry friend, my confidant, my kitty. I realized he wasn't coming straight down, so I circled the tree trying to find a way up to help him, but what I found was a branch that was lower then the one he was on. I called to him and told him to jump to the lower branch, and he laughed at me and what the heck are you talking about, I can't get down you silly girl. So finally I found a long stick and pointed to the lower branch and slowly he came to understand and went to the lower branch. This continued for quite some time until he felt comfortable enough to attempt the climb/fall/jump to the ground. He had been stuck up in that tree for at least a day if my memory serves me and I had been worried sick about him.
I can only image the pain of Adele knowing where her kitty was for five days, listening to him getting weaker and weaker..
So kudos and karma points to Kyle and Christian Zwicky and anyone else who makes the effort to help a kitty (or a duck)