Nine lives still left

But cat still stuck in tree after valiant rescue effort

Print Article

Ken Roberge, with Specialty Tree Services, scans the branches of a large pine tree at Ninth Street and Best Avenue as he considers a second attempt Tuesday at rescuing a cat that had been in a tree for six days.

COEUR d'ALENE - The crowd of 15 onlookers cheered when the cat leaped safely from 20 feet up in a tree to the snow-covered ground.

Safe, finally.

After being stuck in the tall pine at Ninth and Best for about a week, after a few failed rescue efforts, after much worry and phone calls and pleas for help, the feline was alive and well. It still had all nine lives.

It was over.

Well, maybe not.

"I thought we were home free there for a minute," said Ken Roberge, arborist with Specialty Tree Services, who spent 15 minutes in 30-degree temperature pursuing the cat as it leaped from tree to tree to tree to tree.

Once the cat's paws touched down, it promptly raced across the yard - and climbed right back up the first tree, and disappeared into darkness.

Disappointed, the audience turned away, seemingly no longer sympathetic to the cat's plight. Nothing but groans and head shakes. Arms went up in exasperation. Dumb cat, many muttered.

"It can stay up there," said one person as she walked away.

"At least we know it can come down," Roberge said.

Sarah Gott with the Altar Church said the cat's yowling and meowing could be heard coming from the tree for the past week.

"It's so sad," she said.

She called police, fire and animal control officials. None, she was told, could help her.

Neighbors used a ladder to try and reach the cat, but it just scurried higher.

Jonathan Locke tried to climb the tree, but his fear of heights got the best of him when he was about a quarter of the way up the 100-foot pine.

"It was scary," he said

Food placed on the lowest branches failed to bring the cat down lower - though the two friendly Akitas in the yard might have discouraged it, too.

So Tuesday afternoon, Gott dialed Specialty Tree Services and within an hour, Roberge rolled up with his truck and cherry picker.

The light brown cat, whose owner is unknown, was perched on a branch some 60 feet above ground, in the tree nearest the road. But the closer Roberge came, the more it fled, making acrobatic leaps to the next tree,

Roberge didn't give up.

Using a pole, he managed to direct the cat lower, until it jumped the final 20 feet. Unfortunately, it decided it preferred the higher viewpoint.

"I've rescued a lot of cats over the years," Roberge said. "Most of the time they climb to the top. I've never seen one transfer from tree to tree like that."

Most cats, he said, will come down with a little coaxing. Or, just leaving them alone. Considering the cat had been there a week, and considering the cold temperature, he thought it best to try and get it down.

"We gave it a good effort," he said.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Search continues for man missing since Friday

July 20, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By BRIAN WALKER Staff Writer COEUR d'ALENE — Law enforcement agencies are searching for a 50-year-old man who was last heard from on Friday afternoon when he picked up his dogs from a friend in C...


Read More

Jury vetting process determined

July 20, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press As part of a vetting process, 1,000 Kootenai County residents tapped for the jury pool in the trial of Jonathan D. Renfro must complete a 40-page survey before being selected to appear for a court re...


Read More

School trustees have eye on elections

July 20, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees is worried proposed legislation could make kids’ education a partisan issue by moving school board trustee elections to the same time as general el...


Read More

Fire danger now very high

July 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Coeur d'Alene Press The danger of a fire is now very high in Kootenai County. The Kootenai County Fire Chiefs and officials from the Idaho Department of Lands Mica District elevated the fire danger level Thursday. “...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy