Cats are natural climbers, but adventurous kitties sometimes take their climbs to new heights. Getting up is relatively easy, but getting back down is another story.
Thousands of cats get stuck in trees every year, and contrary to popular belief, they can’t always get down on their own. Animal control organizations, police stations, and even fire companies usually don’t spare the time or expense to rescue these cats in distress, and pet owners are left with few other options. That’s where Canopy Cat Rescue comes in.
Two arborists from Seattle, WA recognized the need for a reliable service to help pet owners save their cats. Sean Sears and Tom Otto started a service called Canopy Cat Rescue, and they’ve been rescuing cats stuck in trees since 2008. Hiring an arborist to scale a tree in search of a wayward cat can cost anywhere between $500 and $700, but Canopy Cat Rescue does it for free.
They offer their services to pet owners throughout the Seattle area, and there are always enough curious cats to keep them busy. Shaun and Tom perform 375-400 cat rescue a year, and most of the trees they climb are at least 100 feet tall. Scaling trees of that height is always a dangerous feat, and the situation grows more intense depending on the cat’s willingness to be rescued. Most of the felines rescued by Canopy Cat Rescue are overjoyed to see their rescuers, but they’re already scared and stressed about not being able to get down on their own. Shaun and Tom take considerable risk in what they do, but as self-proclaimed “cat people,” they know it’s all worth it.
In July, a cat named Daisy found herself between wood and a hard place. She was 25 feet up a big maple tree and wedged between two tree trunks so that she couldn’t move. She was stressed and scared, but Sean and Tom managed to get her safely unstuck and back on the ground.
Pico, a friendly domestic short hair, managed to make her way to the very tippy-top of an 80-foot cedar tree. If that wasn’t bad enough, a group of crows noticed her up there and started dive-bombing. It was a tricky rescue, but Pico was soon reunited with her humans.
Family is the main motivator for Shaun and Tom. Some of the cats they rescue are stuck in trees for days at a time, and their owners are always desperate to get them down. Shaun said in a video from Great Big Story,
“The look that we get from the cat owner’s face when we hand them their cat back is just this overwhelming sense of relief. We love doing this, and we’re going to do it for as long as we can.”
Saving cats is all in a day’s work for these compassionate arborists, and according to them, “restoring faith in humanity” is their main goal. Support their cause and hear more about their harrowing rescues on Facebook.