A community gathered to rescue a cat that was stuck 80 feet in a tree for three days after a family firefighter told the family, “I don’t like cats,” the owner said.
Alison Miles said firefighters refused to attempt a rescue after showing up at her home twice.
Two-year-old Buddy, a large white cat with black markings, jumped into the tree after surrounding animals were frightened by New Year’s Eve fireworks.
When a dog was chasing Buddy, the cat ran straight up a 25-meter tree near her home in Mottingham, southeast London.
Three and a half days later, an arborist managed to remove a branch Buddy was sitting on and fall onto a sheet that was held up by a group to stop the fall.
Despite being dehydrated and hungry, the cat rolled, jumped up, and ran back into the house.
The cat, owned by Alison’s nine-year-old daughter Zoe, is now recovering from the ordeal at home.
Mama Alison joked, “He’s Super Cat – it feels like he’s got to have way more than nine lives.”
She said, “It was New Years Eve, so all the animals hated the fireworks. Someone’s dog was chasing the cat and it ran to the top of the tree.
“We called the RSPCA – they didn’t even bother to come over.
We called the fire department twice. The first firefighter from Lewisham said, “I don’t like cats.”
“I thought to myself, isn’t that your job?
“The second said the ladders don’t go that high. I told them why not spray the tree?
“[Buddy] will jump on the roofs and he will come down.
“But the firefighters said no, we don’t waste our water, it won’t get that high.
“He just walked away. You’re a waste of space.”
So instead of relying on the RSPCA and the fire department, the community got involved.
She continued, “We even had a boy climb onto the roof of this three-story townhouse to try and hit the tree with a ball to make it fall.
“The arborist didn’t come here until 7:00 p.m., three and a half days later.
“We honestly thought it might be too late at this point because his meow was really weak.
“We thought he was dead when we got to his place. Even when he was on the ground, we didn’t think he would get through the night. “
Alison added, “It was horrible because he’s not my cat, but my little girl’s cat.
“I had three nights with her who wept that he was going to die in the tree – especially with all the fireworks.
“The fourth night was the worst – she didn’t want to sleep. She stayed up all night, hugging him and making sure he ate and drank. It was heartbreaking.
“It was freezing, really cold, so we were all worried. Fortunately, he’s fine now.
“We googled it and cats can only go without water for three days. When it came to day two we just thought we’d have to get him down to save his life.
“I know people might be like, ‘Oh, it’s just a cat, but it’s their baby.”
Alison said she was angry at the RSPCA and the fire department and had vowed to stop making monthly payments to the animal welfare organization.
She said: “The RSPCA and the fire department are a waste of space. I paid £ 20 a month to the RSPCA.
“I’m going to stop because they haven’t done anything. We didn’t even get a follow-up call and asked if he was okay? “
She added, “Fortunately, Buddy is really fine. He eats and drinks. He’s still trying to get out.”
“He’s a very adventurous cat.
“When the arborist chopped the branch and it fell, there were four guys downstairs with a sheet to catch it.
“He fell and rolled, jumped and ran. He’s Super Cat – that’s what we call him.
“It feels like he has way more than nine lives.”
A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said: “A crew from Eltham was present on Monday and the officer in charge has examined all options.
“The cat was taller than traditional fire truck ladders, and a turntable ladder couldn’t have been close enough to cause a rescue.
“Firefighters explained the situation to local residents, suggested that an arborist could help, and left so they could be reached for another 911 call.
“Firefighters are animal lovers and two of the five firefighters who were on site are cat owners themselves.
“We are delighted with the cat’s safe return and the old adage of not seeing cat skeletons at the foot of the trees remains true.”
An RSPCA spokesman said, “As a charity we have limited resources and over the New Year’s weekend our animal rescue officer was called on a number of critical emergencies, including four foxes with injured legs, a swan with a neck injury, a pigeon with a broken wing and six orphaned kittens that have been abandoned in a parking lot.
“She was in contact with the cat’s owner and learned that the cat did not appear to be injured and that a fire department and arborist had been contacted.”
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