Cops in high-rise rescue of paramedic’s cat

2014-04-26 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG family have been reunited with their feline friend after help from unexpected quarters — a team usually committed to saving human lives.

ER24 paramedic Andrew Rogers and his wife Jenny had sent a call out via the PMB/Hilton SA Community Crime Watch BBM alert system on Wednesday night asking for help after their cat had been stuck 25 metres up a tall palm tree for three days.

They were hoping someone would come forward with the offer of scaffolding to erect after the longest ladders they could source in the city were still 10 metres too short to reach their marooned, and by now very hungry, cat.

Rogers said Tigger, his daughter Terry-Anne’s cat, had been yowling and was unable to come down on its own.

“Tigger is a house cat and hardly ever goes outside because of the dogs. We think she either went up the tree to try and catch the bats which live there or because she was chased up by a dog.

“When the BBM for help went out, we had some strange replies, like ‘Shoot the cat’,” said Rogers. But his faith in humanity was soon restored after officers from the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue Unit offered to step up and help. They borrowed a ladder from their radio technical department at the SAPS that extends to a great height so it can reach radio masts, and arrived to rescue the stricken cat.

Rogers said the cat had seemed rather unwilling to be rescued and kept moving to the other side of the tree from where the ladder was, scared off by the sound of the ladder pushing through the foliage.

“But, eventually, they managed to get Tigger down, with the cat clawing its rescuers until it was safely down.”

Rogers said later that Tigger had eaten and had something to drink and was none the worse for her ordeal. “It’s as if nothing happened. We’re extremely grateful to the guys.”

Warrant Officer Michael Bennett, Sergeant Fred Brand and Sergeant Nolan Wallace were the gallant men involved in the rescue.

Weekend Witness has it on good authority that some of the softhearted officers have previously stopped traffic on a very busy road to assist a kitten in distress who was crossing, waiting until it had reached safety before allowing cars to pass again.

Captain Laume van Jaarsveld of the SAPS said they had not heard about the rescue, but appreciated that the police involved had gone the extra mile to help out.

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