When Fluffy the cat disappeared from her home in Navarre, Ohio, her owner spotted her high in a pine tree. She wasn't immediately concerned because everyone assured her that cats always come down when they're hungry.
That was on a Friday. On Sunday, when the white kitty showed no sign of leaving and was still perched high in the tree, Ellen Albert called Erie Valley Fire and Rescue for help with her pet.
"Fluffy was about 40 feet in the air. Too high for the ladders we carry," Ryan Shanower of Erie Valley Fire and Rescue tells MNN. "She was also near some power lines that posed a threat. We tried cat food on day two of her being there and figured by evening she would be down. High winds and hard rain on day one evening and most of day two made the rescue attempts difficult."
The rescuers could see and hear Fluffy high in the tree, but they couldn't coax her down low enough so they could reach her.
How Fluffy got there and how she got down
Fire Chief Rick Annen told Fox 8 his theory about how the kitten ended up so far up the tree. Annen saw hawks sitting on a barn across the street and noticed Fluffy's regular collar and flea collar were both missing. He figured a hawk had picked up Fluffy by the collars and she had gotten free and fallen high in the pine tree.
By day three, the rain had stopped enough, but Fluffy still wouldn't, or couldn't, budge. The fire department reached out to a local tree service to see if they'd lend a hand to the frightened feline. They showed up with a bucket truck they use to trim tall trees.
"Once [the bucket truck was] up in the air, Fluffy was down in a minute or two," says Shanower. "She was quite scared and once in her owner's arms snuggled right in with her jacket."
A happy ending, for sure, but not a common day's work for these firefighters.
"In 22 years of doing this job, this only my second cat-in-a-tree call," says Shanower. "The first one, the cat was able to be coaxed down easily with food."
No doubt, Fluffy's getting lots of tasty treats now.