You can keep the cat out of the bag, but you can’t keep it in the tree

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 1:30pm

    ROCKLAND — A homeowner on Cedar Street became the recipient of angry cat calls from a tree branch more than two stories up despite not owning the feline, or even knowing from where it came.

    For a day and a half, since approximately 6 a.m., on a rainy Tuesday morning, the cat remained perched on a branch with no intention of moving. The homeowner’s own cat even ran up the tree to the furry little squatter, gave it a look that said ‘follow me,’ and ran back down to the ground.

    Still, the claws remained nestled in that high branch. 

    By Wednesday morning, the cat had a few things to say – and said them loudly to the man looking up.

    The angry kitty-speak lasted at least long enough to prompt the man to action. At the homeowner’s request, two members of Rockland Fire Department’s B-Shift hoisted an extension ladder skyward, Wednesday, Nov. 6, around noontime. 

    Up climbed Firefighter Max Negley wearing full turnout gear and carrying a sturdy square carrier bag. 

    As the cat returned its claws deep within the branch, it had a few words for Negley, as well. Yet, the tall human remained friendly as his two hands played catch and release with four stubborn paws. At the same time, the cat watched that human with open curiosity.

    Within a few minutes, Negley was able to pry the cat from the tree. However, instead of the feline entering the bag as Negley verbally directed, the cat wrapped itself around one side of the ladder, unyielding yet again.

    In the end, a silent compromise was reached. The bag remained with the ladder – to come down when the extension was lowered. Negley and the cat returned to earth together, hand to wriggly torso.

    Back on terra firma, the cat ran off, likely relieved to be closer to food.

    The homeowner and the fire department stated relief that the cat didn’t turn around and climb back up.

    After years of no such calls to Rockland FD, today’s cat rescue may be the third for the firefighters this year, according to Chief Chris Whytock during the incident. 


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