Monday, April 30, 2007

Slow news day in Chattanooga

A stray cat that had been stuck 70 feet up a tree for six days was saved in a dramatic rescue on Saturday morning in East Brainerd. Because of the tree's location next to the house of Roger and Lynn Meyer on Colonial Parkway, there was no way to get a bucket truck up to the stranded feline.

And several tree companies declined to send any of their men up the thin oak tree.
But fearless climber Tom "Doc" Freuler of Pro-Tree Service then entered the picture.
Doc said, "I got a call from Mark (owner of Pro-Tree Service) last night telling me there was a cat up a tree. I thought he was pulling my leg. But then he saw news stories about the cat on TV." Doc stated, "I'm an absolute animal nut. I was up half the night trying to figure out how to get over there. I was going to go up the tree in the dark."

There were reports that the cat was starving to death and that buzzards were circling overhead. On Saturday morning, he was taken to the tree and he fastened on his safety equipment.

The 48-year-old tree climber said, "When I was younger I would have gone up that tree without any equipment. But I made sure I was safely strapped in."

He said he went up the slender, sloping tree slowly and told those on the ground to be patient. Down below a number of animal rescuers had sheets spread out ready to catch the cat should it plunge down.

When he finally got near the cat, it got spooked and went further out a limb. Doc said, "I talked to it and got it calmed down. Finally I was able to pet it."

Then he was able to get the cat in a fish net. That spooked the cat again, and he tried to bite his rescuer. "Then I put it on a leash," he said.

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