That's no way to save a cat, officials say

Published March 24, 2007


The folks at Animal Control couldn't believe the story.

Not the part about a stray cat stuck in a tree for five days.

The part about some guys using a chain saw to hack off a limb, dropping the cat 30 feet.

"I was so appalled that people would be so ignorant as to cut the limb the cat was standing on," said Denise Hilton, services manager for Pasco Animal Control. "A fall like that could have killed the cat."

The cat had been in the tree for five days when JoAnn Black called the Fire Department Monday. Someone there told her to call Animal Control.

Animal Control told her to call the electric company, which owns bucket trucks. The electric company referred her to the Sheriff's Office, which said it didn't rescue cats.

So Black called Chuck's Tree Service. After failing to lasso the cat or lure it down with food, Chuck Johnston got out his chain saw. His nephew Jerred Johnston climbed a 28-foot ladder and cut the branch. The cat fell and ran away.

On Friday, Hilton sent James Wheelock, an animal control officer, to find the cat.

And now that they have the cat, Hilton has a theory about why it ran up the tree:

The cat's in heat. A high oak tree was the ideal hideaway from pushy tomcats.