Sparky was glad to be back on firm footing after his ordeal
A young cat was happy to be reunited with his owner after being rescued from his captivity on a high perch in Greater Manchester.
Animal rescue officer David Cottingham and fire officers from Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service came to the aid of the stricken moggy, called Sparky, who was discovered hanging on to a branch 30 feet up the tall tree in Dixon Street in Middleton.
The RSPCA always advises owners to allow cats to make their own way down from trees and to try and tempt them if they get stuck by placing food and smelly treats on the ground. But if they remain trapped for more than a day then the animal charity can help.
Terrified Sparky was trapped up the 40-foot high tree for around 30 hours and appeared unable to make his way down. He was first spotted on the morning of Saturday, February 11 and his plight encouraged some of his owner’s neighbours to make unsuccessful attempts to reach him.
But fire officers quickly had the black and white cat back on the ground, climbing up extended ladders and then using the animal rescue officer’s grasper to take hold of the feline safely.
Dave said: “We do say to owners to give their cats enough time to come down from trees on their own first. It is quite often the case that they’re not actually trapped, but scared or unsure and they often figure it out and make it down themselves.
“Every job is different and it can depend on the age and health of the cat and whether it is injured or physically caught and the weather conditions as to what we do. If we try to rescue too early sometimes cats will go higher or they may jump from tree to tree or fall.
“This was a hard tree to get a ladder up on and when I arrived there were members of the public with ladders and saws trying to get the cat down, which, of course, we would warn against doing as it can be far too dangerous.
“Strong-smelling food had been put near the tree, which is as we would advise, but in the end Sparky was reached by the fire officers using their rescue ladders.
“His owner was over the moon to be reunited with her cat again and we did issue her some advice as we do prefer to see cats make their own way down from trees, unless they are trapped for some time or are injured.”
It may be in some cases like this that the owners are asked to contact a tree surgeon if the RSPCA is unable to get someone to the cat or if the feline is stuck in a position where officers would not be able to help.
But if a cat is stuck up a tree for more than 24 hours, the weather conditions are particularly bad or if the cat is injured or very young then owners can call 0300 1234 999, and the RSPCA may need to contact the fire service to ask for help if necessary due to health and safety implications.
The fire service will use opportunities like this incident for training purposes.