Daring cat rescue on GR’s west side garners attention on social media

NEWS AND COMMENT: I have unashamedly stolen Fox17’s headline because I like it. Thanks Annie Szatkowski. It is a good little cat story from Grand Rapids, Mich. What I like about it is the confident way this man climbs up about 45 feet using a clever pully system. He does not need to climb the tree. He pulls himself up. They are called mechanical extenders.

Of the device he said:

“I use one that’s attached to my right foot, then I use a knee extender that’s spring-loaded, and those are friction devices, so they will move one direction on the rope. So as I step up and then put pressure down, it locks on the rope and allows me to walk up the rope like I would go up a ladder.”

Here is the FB video:

The Westside rescue made the news! Check us out on Fox17 news.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10225377777575053&id=1342467375

This cat was rescued from a tree at Richmond Park this evening! Shout out to Erick Baker with Tip Top Tree Care LLC for his amazing climbing skills!

Posted by Robin Lee L AW on Saturday, March 13, 2021

Please note: these sorts of videos often stop working over time. They invariably do so if you are on this page months after it was posted the video may be dead. If that has happened: sorry, but I can’t control it. Here is a still photo instead:

Cat rescued from tree by Erick Baker of Tip Top Tree Care LLC
Cat rescued from tree by Erick Baker of Tip Top Tree Care LLC
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

As usual it is tense. I always feel something is going to go wrong at the last minute and the cat will fall. But this guy is solid and calm. He takes his time to grab the cat by the scruff. I have one question: How did he get the rope attached to the tree in the first place which he then uses as the basis for his pully system to inch his way up? Fair question. It is not in the video.

The cat was too big for his bag so he bravely came down while holding the cat by the scruff. He shouts down for a carrier so that when he lands he’ll be able to ensure that the cat does not run away. They wanted to make sure that the cat was reunited with their owner.

It all worked out great but a bit tense as I said. The video was posted on the We Are Westsiders Facebook page. The cat was spotted up the tree by dog walkers in Richmond Park.

Robin Walenga was called. He’s an expert cat rescuer apparently. She immediately thought of Erick Baker of Tip Top Tree Care LLC, the guy you see carrying out the daring rescue. He’d done two cat rescues before.

There are guys who’ve done more but he looks great in this one. He said that the climb was a bit ‘iffy’. He meant that the cat was ‘out over a leaner’. He showed a nice balance between daring and caution. Above all the cat was down and safe. Would they have come down by themselves in due course. We’ll never know.

It has always surprised me that some cats despite their heritage of being great tree climbers find themselves stuck. Does the wild cat ancestor of the domestic cat have the same problems? I think not. So what is going on? Is it because the domestic cat has lost some of its skills over 10k years of domestication? Or is it because we think that they are stuck but they are not. They’re just taking their time and they will get down eventually.

No one has ever seen the skeleton of a cat in a tree. You decide.

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