Local arborist Adrian Henrich has been waiting for this day to come: when he would get a call to rescue a cat stranded in a tree.
Friday was that day. The Facebook community was up in arms over Casper, a white cat, who had been stuck in a tree near Crestview Public School in Kitchener since Thursday, 30 feet up in the air.
A faculty member at Crestview, Christy Saunders, posted in a Cambridge Facebook group for found and missing pets that she could hear the cat crying to get down, and wanted someone to help.
It was Claudia Brock who got a hold of Henrich, who owns Rings of Growth. Brock lives in Mitchell, but saw the post and wanted to help. She called the humane society, certain that they would have contacts for people who could help -- and they did, passing along Henrich’s number, who is one of the arborists the Humane Society of Kitchener-Waterloo & Stratford-Perth has on file for situations like these.
“I gave him a call, and he's like, I've been waiting for this call all my life. Like, I've always wanted to rescue a cat,” she said, laughing.
Henrich said the cat was distressed, but calmed down when he got up there.
“Let me grab her by the scruff, so I lifted her up, cuddled her for a while. And then I put her in a little bag with her head poking out, cradled that in my lap and just came down. It wasn't anything spectacular.”
He added that it seemed like a “basic activity to do with all the people around, watching, being shocked and amazed. I just picked up a cat and put it in a bag, but then everyone around you is losing it. It brought a lot of people joy,” he said.
Calla James, director of community engagement and outreach at KWSP said that they regularly receive calls about animals in trees.
“Our first piece of advice is to leave the animal be – don’t hang out around the tree, don’t draw a crowd – and in the majority of instances the animal will come back down if it is left alone,” she said.
James said if it does need help getting down, their officers aren’t trained to work at such heights, and don’t have the safety equipment, such as harnesses, to accomplish it.
“This is why we will advise callers to try contacting an arborist to see if this is a service they could provide,” she said.
Someone had also reached out to Cody Stark of Stark's Tree Service, but Henrich was already in the tree by the time he arrived.
“If you call, most arborists will come if they’re available,” Henrich said.