AP Scaffolding Services built a 50 foot scaffolding tower next to a tree in which a tortoiseshell cat had been stuck for about three days. It’s the first time I’ve seen this method of rescuing a cat from a tree. It looks awesome. Apparently it was a team effort. The local fire service tried and failed on Sunday. They appealed for help and the scaffolding business responded and built the tower. A tree surgeon climbed it to recover the cat.
The scaffolders put some tempting food on the top tier of this scaffolding tower to entice Cookie from her perch about 50 feet up. It all happened in Tredegar, Gwent, Wales.
Apparently they had initially tried to rescue Cookie with a cherry picker but she kept on hiding so that failed. The scaffolding company set up the boards at an angle in the hope that Cookie would simply make her way down using the scaffolding. It didn’t happen. At one stage it was felt that Cookie was getting a bit nervous because of all the activity! There was a request for quiet to see whether she could be encouraged to come down of her own accord.
As the scaffolding was being built up to the height where Cookie was stuck, she decided to go a bit higher! She was crying quite a bit as well. Leanne Skinner who was one of the coordinators of the team effort said that the scaffolding team had been amazing. She said that Cookie had in fact managed to get onto the top tier of the scaffolding without help but then was unable to make her way down.
The interesting aspect of this cat rescue from a tree is not that the cat was stuck in the tree as that happens quite a lot but it is the first time, perhaps anywhere, in the history of cat rescues from trees that scaffolding has been built like this up to about 50 feet. I think it was an awesome effort and no doubt it was done entirely free of charge. It is good publicity though for the scaffolding business which is why I started off the article with their name.
It is always surprising to see cats stuck in trees because you would have thought that having eagerly climbed the tree with alacrity they would be able to come down. Why don’t they plan how to come down? It seems like irrational behaviour to climb to 50 feet without guaranteeing to yourself that you can get down at the end of it. One problem with domestic cats is that they can’t go into reverse or they can with great difficulty. It is hard to go down headfirst as it is a vertical pillar of wood with branches to jump onto as you go. Some cats do just simply race down the trunk of the tree which is also highly impressive. But their claws are backward facing and therefore it is very hard to get a grip going down headfirst. Sometimes you see them shimmying down backwards but it looks uncomfortable.