A rescue operation was underway Wednesday to save a cat that got stuck in a tree on Casgrain Avenue in Montreal’s Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough.
Workers with Urgences-Animales live streamed the rescue on Facebook, describing everything from the equipment they use to save the animals to different methods that can encourage a cat to come out of a tree.
They believe the feral feline was stuck in the tree for 48 to 72 hours – at least since Christmas Day.
In a series of rescue videos, which last anywhere between 20 minutes to over an hour each, the rescuers tried several methods, including ropes and lifting one of the workers, Isabelle Vachon-Girard, into the tree – but the hiss-terical cat just jumped to another, higher branch each time.
The videos received tens of thousands of views.
“When a cat jumps, they can easily reach 20 to 30 feet in each direction,” said Eric Dussault, president of Urgences-Animales.
“In summer, a cat could easily jump down from there and head off.”
Dussault explained they couldn’t save the cat using “traditional means” because of the shape of the tree.
After a few hours, the group then rented a ladder truck.
Vachon-Girard’s hands came within a foot of the cat – not close enough for that purr-fect rescue.
“[Firefighters can’t help because they can’t] set a precedence, it would start scandal if there was an emergency and the truck was here,” explained Dawn, one of the rescuers.
The group spent hours in the cold and worked into the dark of the night to save the feline.
In the end, after much coaxing and a second attempt with the ladder truck, the cat dropped down from the tree, perhaps frightened from all the attention it was getting, and ran off underneath a neighbouring house.
“What a special day,” said Mia, one of the rescuers.
“A woman who paid for the services and offered to pay for the vet was outside for more than 12 hours. Three people offered us food and drink, a neighbour offered us his washroom, a tree-climbing professional and his team came from more than an hour away, firefighters who were not authorized to use their ladder stayed to light up the tree.”
As they drove back to their office in Saint-Basile-le-Grand, about 30 minutes away from downtown Montreal, the rescue team agreed the dramatic day definitely made for an un-fur-gettable end to the year.