Cat-astrophic: four-day rescue bid for cat

2008-09-03 00:00

Pretoria — A cat has been saved from a hadeda nest, where he was trapped for four days.

After Tshwane rescue services got Xander, the one-year-old Persian chinchilla safely on the ground on Tuesday, they also saved a hadeda who was stuck in the same 40 metre-high tree.

Pretoria resident Deon Labuschagne had to fight back tears when he was able to hold his cat in his arms again.

Neighbours’ dogs chased Xander up the tree on Friday. Labuschagne said he and the neighbours had been calling to Xander to come out of the tree since then, but he couldn’t get back down.

“When he heard my voice, he only cried. Meanwhile, he was harassed by the birds because he was sitting in their nest. My neighbours and I have not been able to sleep for the past four nights.

Xander is my child,” he said.

Labuschagne approached the fire brigade for assistance. “I went to the animal rescue organisation and the Tshwane metro board for help.”

He said metro employees tried to reach the cat by crane, but they couldn’t get close enough.

On Tuesday morning, the fire brigade tried to get Xander out the tree by spraying water on him, but he only licked the water from his body. A 22 metre ladder was too short and a fire brigade truck with a 35 metre electronic ladder could not get into the yard. When it finally managed to get in, Frans Glanvill and Johan Möller were able to get to the top of the tree and catch Xander in the SPCA net — to much applause.

“Apart from being very hungry and thirsty, the cat looks okay,” said Diale Ratsela of the SPCA.

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