HARPER WOODS — Some fairy tales include a damsel in distress and a white knight on a majestic steed, but the real-life heroes sometimes come in a bucket truck, fight off dark foes and save the day just the same.
One such hero came to the rescue when a little girl’s young cat escaped the home and ran up 50 to 60 feet in an Elm on Lancaster in Harper Woods Nov. 21. With the cat stuck in that tree for more than 24 hours, the city was contacted for assistance in coaxing the pet down.
“The cat would not budge,” said William Snyder, Harper Woods Department of Public Works superintendent, adding that there were more menacing things the cat faced than just being stuck when a hawk set its sights on the cat, stopping in the same tree not far away.
“The hawk was licking its chops,” Snyder said of the situation, adding that they tried to do things from the ground to get the hawk to go away, like making noise and stomping their feet. No such luck. That hawk seemed ready to wait it out.
After the DPW was contacted, Snyder set out to get someone to help. They made some calls and reached out to Bob Schomer, owner of Bob Schomer Tree Service in Grosse Pointe Woods, which the city uses for tree work.
Schomer said he would come as soon as possible to see what he could do.
“Down the street came Bob Schomer in his bucket truck,” Snyder said.
“This poor little cat had spent the night up in the tree,” he said. “Bob Schomer Tree Service came to the rescue, and Bob personally went up in his bucket truck.”
Schomer said he gets a couple of calls a year to rescue cats and does whatever he can to help.
“They’re great going up, but they can’t come down,” Schomer said of cats and trees.
“If I can reach it, I’ll do it,” Schomer said of responding to those cat-in-distress calls he receives each year.
When Schomer came on the scene on Lancaster, he discovered that the cat was clinging on tightly near the top of the tree.
“I was able to get right next to it,” Schomer said.
The cat had dug into the perch so tightly that Schomer said he “had to use two hands” to pull the animal out.
The hawk did flee when Schomer started taking his bucket up into the tree, but Schomer suspects he didn’t go far. He was probably circling above and would have made his move after nightfall, Schomer said.
While Schomer said it only took him ten minutes to drive there from where he was working, and even less time to get the cat down, the effort wasn’t lost on the people at the scene or Snyder.
“It was a pretty moving thing for me,” Snyder said. “It really made for a happy Thanksgiving for the little girl.”