Troy Firefighters rescue cold kitty from tree

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 27, 2017

 1. Troy firefighters wear full protective gear to rescue this black and white tabby from a tree near Wattles and Adams roads.

1. Troy firefighters wear full protective gear to rescue this black and white tabby from a tree near Wattles and Adams roads.

Photo provided by the Troy Fire Department

Troy firefighters put aside their planned training session the evening of Dec. 26 to help a cat stuck in a tree in the frigid temperatures. 

Firefighters arrived at the scene just before 8:30 p.m., after receiving a number of calls into the dispatch center and seeing notifications on the city’s Facebook page about a cat that had been stuck in a tree on Wattles Road, east of Adams Road, for about 36 hours. People could hear the cat crying. 

Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer said Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts responded to the posting on the city’s Facebook page. He asked a crew from Fire Station 3 — which had just participated in the community outreach initiative Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and which was slated for training that night — to investigate the report, and to determine the feline’s location and whether the Fire Department could safely rescue the cat. 

Riesterer said that while the Fire Department does not routinely respond to reports of cats in trees, it will respond in a non-emergency way to help remove pets from harm and prevent owners and others from taking unnecessary risks to themselves and the animals in a rescue attempt. 

Riesterer said the frigid temperatures prompted concern for the cat. 

“We didn’t want anyone else putting up ladders and risking possible injury,” he said, noting that there were electrical lines above the tree that weren’t easily seen in the darkness. 

According to a fire report, upon arrival at the scene, firefighters discovered that someone had left an extension ladder at the tree and a good Samaritan was trying to coax the cat out of the tree. 

Firefighters wore full protective clothing due to the cold temperatures and for protection from tree branches and the cat, in case it lashed out. They set up floodlights and several ladders to ensure a safe climb and descent, then climbed the tree to remove the cat. 

A firefighter secured the cat and passed it down the ladder to a firefighter on the ground, who placed the cat in a carrier the good Samaritan had provided. 

Riesterer said the cat was too cold to share any details about its owner, identity or address. 

According to a fire report, two concerned residents offered to care for the cat. Anyone with information about the cat or its owners is asked to call Troy police at (248) 524-3477.