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Cat Rescue: Whiskers was stuck in tree for over 24 hours | News

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Cat Rescue: Whiskers was stuck in tree for over 24 hours
News, Pets
Cat Rescue: Whiskers was stuck in tree for over 24 hours

Like a set of dominos, a series of events led up to Saturday afternoon. A new dog in the neighborhood and a lounging cat in a north Spokane backyard. It was a perfect storm.

Whiskers was minding his own business in the 6800 block of North Douglas when a neighbor dog escaped and ended up in Butch McConnell’s back yard. Whiskers, a 7-year-old long hair, hauled tail 30-40 feet up a tree where he stayed until Monday morning when Spokane Fire crews rescued him.

McConnell and his wife, Paula, had no idea Whiskers was up the tree. The neighbor said they saw him scram out of the yard when the dog came barging through, but nobody knew where he was.

“Until last night, we were putting flyers out. My wife stepped out and heard meowing. She thought he was injured,” McConnell said.

They found Whiskers in the tree, scared and tired. McConnell, a retired EMS employee, did what he knew best. He called Spokane Fire that night. You’d think rescuing cats stuck in trees is part of a day’s work, but assistant chief Brian Schaeffer says these situations don’t happen very often.

“Most often the cat ends up coming down on its own,” Schaeffer said.

A situation occurred last year when an Arizona kitty was stuck on top of a rather tall saguaro cactus for at least three days. A news helicopter witnessed the cat finally climbing down the cactus and running off. In the situation that cats in Spokane climb up a tree, Spokane Fire requires a 24-hour waiting period from time of call before responding in case the cat does decide to climb down on its own.

“We knew he was up in the tree and there was nothing we could do. We hoped when we got up this morning that he didn’t fall out,” McConnell said. “He was curled up like a squirrel this morning when the rain came.”

McConnell even attempted to get his 20” ladder out, but it wasn’t tall enough to reach Whiskers. Dispatch called the next day and said they’d be coming in the morning to save Whiskers because they wouldn’t do the rescue at night.

It took only 15 minutes for fire crews to get Whiskers down on Monday morning using their truck’s ladder.

“He’s a much happier cat by far. He’s been sleeping most of the day,” McConnell added.

Whiskers is a rescue cat from Spokane Humane Society. McConnell says he likes to lounge on a chair in their backyard and hang out with the squirrels who he doesn’t bother.

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