Every day we face some sort of risk or we should be if we are living life to the full. If you cut risk out of life to cut out a part of proper, healthy living. Obviously a bit of common sense has to apply. You have to strike a balance as the experts say. But we should not be too averse to risk. And sadly in Britain we have become too averse to risk. This is linked to excessive political correctness and over zealous health and safety. It is all part of a changed mentality that distances us from how we lived in the past and from what is natural and good for us….and cats!
Cats have nine lives because they have neither heard about risk assessment nor health and safety. They tend to get into scrapes. They depend on us occasionally to get them out of trouble.
Cats like to climb trees and perversely, sometimes are unable to get down. That is a bit strange when you think about it. It is a bit silly and it can happen to adult cats who should know better. Some cats can get down head first, racing down between the branches. The Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) is known for that special skill.
However, Diesel a much loved black, moggie kitten is not an NFC. He knew how to climb but not get down. Sadly modern Britain’s public services were unable to help.
Diesel climbed a tree in Foulden, Berwickshire. This is just in Scotland. He was stuck up the tree for ‘nearly a week’ and was in danger of dying. The various services requested to help gave these responses:
- Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue – “…we are not going to put the lives of our firefighters at risk.”
- Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA – could not help as too risky.
- Northumberland Fire Service – could not send a team across the border from England.
- Local tree surgeon – Diesel was too high to be reached.
Kyle, a local 15 year old boy of the classic kind, who is not risk averse and thank God neither is his mother, found the tree quite easy to climb. He was not frightened for his safety. He was concerned for the cat.
Kyle says “I got up and got the cat down with no bother at all…” He can’t understand what is going on with the brave men of the fire service, who are paid to take risks!
I think what might have happened is that the fire service did not want to do it, not because it was too risky but because it was not worth doing for one kitten. I remember reading about the cutbacks in funding due to the nation’s debt and one cut back was for firefighters to stop rescuing cats and other ‘non-esssential’ tasks.
There is something wrong though with risk assessment and health and safety in the UK. Change is needed. The nation has gone wrong. It is time to recreate some of the old values that made Britain great.