Kitty, a beautiful 8 month old Tabby cat found herself in quite a predicament. She managed to climb a very sparsely branched tree and was unable to get down. After spending several days in the tree her frantic guardians were turning to everyone asking for help. The fire department refused to assist them stating they will only save humans. Kitty had just been spayed so her family thought to ask her Veterinarian for help. As they were at the vet. hospital they ran into a few good Samaritans who had the answer.
Kitty’s guardians were told about a story they had seen on Fox 11 News of SmART rescuing a cat from a tree. The good Samaritans told Kitty’s guardians that they would do the leg work necessary to find where SmART was from and what had to be done to get their help. After some internet research they found out SmART is in LA, and although they live in Ventura, they were determined to have Kitty rescued.
The local animal control agency was contacted and asked to assess the situation. An officer responded and determined that Kitty was in quite a tough spot. They contacted Brenda Barnette, the General Manager for Los Angeles City Animal Services and requested SmART’s assistance. Brenda Barnette contacted LA City Mayor Villaraigosa and requested authorization to send the Small Animal Rescue Team to Ventura. Mayor Villaraigosa quickly responded and gave the green light.
On January 30th SmART members, Nav, Ramon, Reds, XXX, and Nett arrived and were shocked to see the tight rope act Kitty had been doing for five days. She was in such a horrible situation. Kitty was literally clinging to very thin branches that were swaying in the wind 40 feet above the ground. As SmART was assessing the situation it began to rain steadily. Poor Kitty was soaking wet, cold, and exhausted. SmART knew they had to move fast to save her life.
The team derived a game plan and set it into motion. A large rescue net was set up at the bottom of the tree below kitty. XXX was sent onto the roof of the two story complex with a net while Reds secured the lifeline for Ramon to climb the tree. Nett and Nav were on the ground with nets ready to receive Kitty once rescued.
The team’s 24 foot ladder was set up and Ramon climbed the ladder and carefully managed to situate himself in the tree with Kitty. Ramon displayed excellent climbing skills and had to stand a thin branch bowing with his weight while holding onto the branch Kitty was on. He carefully set up running protection as he climbed so if he fell he would not be injured. As Ramon neared Kitty, a very timid cat, she shied away from him and went further out on the limb. Ramon remained patient and coaxed kitty even trying to tempt her with some Greenies as he stood on a thin branch 40 feet off the ground. His patience paid off and when he was close enough to scruff Kitty he quickly managed to get a hold of her while doing a tight rope balancing act of his own.
Then the unthinkable happened…Ramon lost his balance! Thank goodness for all the experience and training SmART has, Ramon’s safety gear all held strong. He was dangling from a thin rope about 35 feet in the air while holding onto a very frightened Kitty. XXX raised his net, and it was still about five feet away from Ramon’s reach. Ramon and XXX worked symbiotically and Ramon dropped Kitty who safely landed in XXX’s net. The crowd of about a dozen men, women, and children below cheered in excitement. Kitty’s thankful guardians quickly placed soaking wet Kitty into her carrier and rushed her to the vet.
Kitty was slightly dehydrated but made it out of the ordeal safely. She went home, ate a lot of food and finally laid down for her first good nights sleep in nearly a week.