A cat stuck almost 50 feet up in a tree last weekend in Grand Rapids, Mich., required the assistance of an “experienced tree surgeon” to get back down.
A couple spotted the stranded feline while walking their dog at Richmond Park. They contacted local animal rescuer Robin Walenga, who then summoned tree expert Erick Baker, owner of Tip Top Tree Care LLC.
Baker, who has performed several cat rescues throughout his career, admitted he was especially cautious in this case.
“Kind of a bit of an iffy climb,” he told FOX 17. “Probably only 45 foot vertically, but he was out over a leaner.”
Trees that “lean” from weakened root systems or soil are more likely to fall over. Baker explained how he performed the harrowing rescue, which was captured on video.
“We use mechanical extenders,” he said. “I use one that’s attached to my right foot, then I use a knee extender that’s spring-loaded, and those are friction devices, so they will move one direction on the rope. So as I step up and then put pressure down, it locks on the rope and allows me to walk up the rope like I would go up a ladder.”
As complicated as the procedure sounds, Baker reached the feline in about 30 seconds before clearing some branches, collecting the cat, and descending to safety.
“I had a full conversation with the cat,” he said. “We went back and forth a little while.”
The cat is not microchipped, and Walenga is currently searching for his guardian(s).
Rescuing cats may not be among Baker’s primary job duties, but he finds it rewarding to help out when he is needed.
“It means a lot that I’m able to go out and do something positive for the community, and have the community turn around and say all the things that they’re saying about what I’m able to do,” he said.
Lady Freethinker applauds Baker’s heroic efforts to save this helpless cat from a terrifying fall.