Cat in tree draws many rescuers
Posted November 24, 2011
Updated November 25, 2011
Sanford, N.C. — 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.
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. 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.