Local News

Cat in tree draws many rescuers

Posted November 24, 2011
Updated November 25, 2011

— The plight of a cat stuck in a tree in Harnett County for five days touched people and prompted many rescue offers after a WRAL News report on Wednesday.

Residents on Wellstone Drive in the Persimmon Hills area said they were worried because the cat had been in a pine tree since Sunday.

Amy Wolcott and her 11-year-old son, Austin, kept an eye on the cat and asked neighbors to help them with a ladder. But the tallest ladder they could find was about 32 feet – not high enough to rescue the cat.

Sanford cat rescued from tree Tree climber rescues cat

Wolcott said Harnett County Animal Control and the sheriff's and fire departments told her the cat would make its own way down when it got hungry. Neighbors left food at the bottom of the tree, but it didn't lure the scared cat down.

"It's either going to come down on its own, or it will die in the tree. It's just one of those choices – whichever happens first," Wolcott said.

Those options weren't good enough for many people.

An employee of Raleigh equipment rental company Sunbelt Rentals offered the use of a 50-foot lift to rescue the cat on Thanksgiving. cat rescue Viewer video: Cat rescued from tree

"I would be more than willing to take the lift and try to get the cat out of the tree this morning while my turkey is cooking," David Allen wrote in an email to WRAL News.

James Talton drove 1½ hours from his Goldsboro home and showed up unannounced Thursday morning. He climbed the tree and brought the cat down by 10 a.m.

"I just felt in my heart that, I figure I can climb. I can at least give it an effort," Talton said.

The cat's safe rescue was a Thanksgiving Day gift to owner Eirrynn Rawlins.

"I'm thankful that I could help her, but I give credit to the lady on TV (Wolcott) that asked for the help, because if it weren't for her, no one would have cared, I believe," Talton said.


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  • PokeyGirl Nov 25, 2011

    Aw, I love reading stories like this. How nice of him to do all that for that little girl and her cat. Now...keep the cat inside! ;P

  • Nov 25, 2011

    I used to be a volunteer firefighter up north... we always did animal rescues. Our chief figured it was great training for the real thing. Plus, an untrained civilian trying to rescue an animal often did turn into the real thing.

  • storchheim Nov 25, 2011

    Late to the party, and glad the cat's OK. How touching that a man drove 1.5 hours each way on a holiday and on his own initiative to rescue this poor animal.

    I hope the human stewards learned something: KEEP YOUR CATS INDOORS. We're supposed to be the ones with reasoning powers.

  • aewagner87 Nov 25, 2011

    I cant believe it took putting this on the news and someone driving from 1hr 1/2 away to get this cat out of the tree. Really as many people and resources we have in this area and no one closer would help. Just rediculus and selfish people.

  • I_am_not_Jeff Nov 25, 2011

    well, Ive never seen a cat skeleton in a tree.... It will come down eventually...

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Nov 24, 2011

    Queene - "Have some compassion for animals."

    Some so-called humans don't even have compassion for humans, let alone animals. IMHO, they're an uncivilized lot.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Nov 24, 2011

    Queene - "what the news forgot to mention is that dobermans were at the bottom of the tree."

    And Harnett has no animal control to speak of, only police who do little in animal rescue situations.

    Someone needs to call the Humane Society.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Nov 24, 2011

    I can help if the family contacts me. http://www.catinatreerescue.com/view/Directory_view.cfm?directory_id=423

  • queene01 Nov 24, 2011

    what the news forgot to mention is that dobermans were at the bottom of the tree. This lady called the vet yesterday and the vet tried to call around to get help- if a cat isn't down by 4 days with all the food- something is wrong! Have some compassion for animals. After 4 days, this cat probably didn't have any energy to come down!

  • pdlove2fish Nov 24, 2011

    How many times do you see a skeleton in a tree? Ever think of vultures and other animals that may not allow you to see "skeletons"in a tree.What a sick comment to make! I got a cat out of a tree that was stuck over a week,what could not be seen is that the cats leg was caught in a fork of the limb it was on. It took all of the energy for the cat to balance it's body on the limb with a trapped leg,no amount of food would have brought this cat down.Think before you say nasty comments,if you had a child looking at his or her cat stuck in a tree would you not try to get it out somehow and be upset if you read such a comment as the "skeleton" one made? oh...probably not because you made the comment.