Cat Stranded Up Tree For Seven Days Because Fire Brigade's Ladder Was Too Short

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A cat spent seven days stuck 100ft up a giant redwood tree, with her rescue delayed because the fire brigade’s ladder was too short. The cat, named Tiggs, shot up the tree after being scared by a dog in a neighbouring garden at her home in Buckden, near St Neots, Cambs.

Owners Natasha Moore, 22, and daughter Chloe, four, hunted for their missing one-year-old pet but only heard her cries from the lofty branch five days later. They called in the fire brigade and the RSPCA, but the 45ft ladder on the engine was still more than 50ft short of reaching her perch 100ft above ground.

Crews said it was not safe to clamber any further up the tree, and extra ladders were unsuitable.
After another two days trying to tempt her down, Natasha and Chloe were advised by the RSPCA to call in specialist tree surgeons.They sent an employee to clamber up the tree using ropes and pulleys and rescued Tiggs in less than 15 minutes on Monday, seven days after she disappeared on April 5.

Part-time hospital worker Natasha, whose daughter Chloe, four, owns Tiggs, said they were all ”delighted” by the rescue.She said: ”We think she was stuck up there for near enough a week and her miaowing was getting weaker and weaker.

”The fire brigade came out on Saturday and had two attempts at trying to position the ladder but because of health and safety and the height of the tree they could not do it.”On Monday the tree surgeon turned up, got his harnesses on, climbed up and got Tiggs down in 15 minutes.

”She was very tired and hungry but seems to have recovered well, although she has not been allowed outside again yet.”Chloe’s grandmother Valerie Halls, 52, a carer, said: ”We discovered the kitten was missing last Monday as it hadn’t come home.

”We kept putting out food and we eventually heard miaowing.”Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed their ladder was too short but said health and safety was not an issue.The fire service also has an extendable turntable ladder that can reach the 13th floor of a block of flats but could not have penetrated the redwood’s dense branches.A spokeswoman said: ”It was a very tall tree with very dense branches and the cat was in the middle by the trunk.”We did consider getting the turntable ladder out but because the branches are so dense we would have been unable to gain access to the cat without cutting them out of the way.

”The turntable ladder is quite noisy too and we did not want to scare her so we suggested the owner call a tree surgeon.”I would not have thought the crew would have said it was a health and safety issue.”The RSPCA said they were first called on April 9 the giant redwood was far higher than most other trees in the area.

She said: ”We did not have the specialist equipment for that rescue and it was deemed unsafe that we should even attempt it.”Our usual advice is to leave the cat for 36 hours, quite often they will bored and come down by themselves.”A spokeswoman for Global Tree Solutions, of Offord, Cambs., who performed the rescue, said they were happy to use their specialist equipment to help stricken Tiggs.

She said: ”I think this is the first cat we have ever rescued from a tree and we were quite happy to help out when we heard.”It’s a bit of a strange one but we will not be charging the owner.”

(source)

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