Last Tuesday, just before 8:30 p.m., Dave Roberts, the Troy Fire Chief, began receiving information that a cat that had been stuck in a tree for the last day-and-a-half. No specific location was provided, but the cat was presumed to be somewhere on Wattles Road between Adams and Beach Roads. Residents and passers-by could hear the cat crying. Several social media postings about the cat were occurring on the City of Troy Facebook page indicating the cat had been in the tree approximately 36 hours, reported Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer.
This posting prompted the Fire Chief’s notification. Chief Roberts contacted Fire Station 3, who had just completed the “Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams” event at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. He asked a crew to investigate the reports, determine the cat’s location, and determine if there was anything the fire department could do to safely rescue the cat. With the thermometer nearing zero degree temperatures outside, there was an obvious concern for the cat’s well being.
Upon their arrival, firefighters were advised that the correct address was 2779 W Wattles (the Dispatch Center was also receiving multiple calls). The firefighters located a samaritan that was trying to coax the cat out of the tree. Someone had left an extension ladder against the tree where the cat was located. Firefighters surveyed the scene and noticed overhead wires near the tree, making the rescue a bit trickier. Firefighters then set up floodlights to help illuminate the area. Several ladders were set up to ensure a safe climb and descent.
Firefighters then ascended the tree to remove the animal. All personnel wore full protective clothing due to the temperature, and to protect themselves from tree branches and in case the cat lashed out. Once the first firefighter got into place, he was secured with a rescue rope in case he were to slip while in the tree. Firefighters were able to secure the cat and pass it down the ladder to a waiting firefighter, who in turn put it in a carrier that the samaritan had provided.
The cat was too cold to give any details (like name, address, who its owners were, etc). Fortunately, there were a couple of concerned residents that brought a pet carrier and a couple of blankets, and offered to care for the cat after the rescue. If you recognize the cat or know the owners, please contact Troy Police at 248-524-3477.
Note: While the TFD does not routinely respond to “cats in trees”, they maintain the view that if available, they will respond in a non-emergency manner to assist in removing pets from harm. The department realizes that pets are members of the family. By offering their assistance they may prevent their owners from taking unnecessary risks to themselves, and their pet, to effect a rescue attempt.