A Rolla man went above and beyond to make sure his pet was out of harm’s way Wednesday.
According to Ron Smith, Assistant Chief of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, said a call came into the fire station asking for help getting a cat out of a tree Wednesday evening off of Osage Drive in Rolla.
It is the department’s policy not to go out on animal calls without assistance from animal control.
“The owner of the cat was distressed that the cat was up in the tree and had not come down for some time,” said Smith. “Our policy is not to respond to a cat in a tree without an animal control officer requesting it.”
Hearing this, the cat’s owner took matters into his own hands. According to Smith, he placed a ladder against the side of the tree and started to climb. When the man was about 35 feet up into the tree, the ladder fell. The man’s wife was unable to put the ladder back up against the tree, and the fire department was called.
Because of the location of the tree behind a home, the fire department was unable to get the aerial ladder to the tree. Firefighters had to use a less stable ground ladder to help the man, and his feline friend, out of the tree.
No one — two- or four-legged — was injured during the rescue.
Smith said generally, animals don’t want to be rescued and that the reaction of the animals when firefighters try to help them is usually bad, causing the firefighters to be bitten or scratched.
“At some point, that hunger, the desire to survive will make them come out of the tree,” he said.