Cat whispering firefighter called in to rescue palm tree-stranded moggy

Catherine Groenestein/StuffApi Hemara was very happy to see Shadow, his family’s pet cat, after it was rescued from a palm tree where she had been stuck for two days.A cat-whispering firefighter and the rattle of a box of cat biscuits finally lured Shadow, a moggy stuck up a palm tree for two days, out to safety. On Friday firefighter Daniel Boyd, from the Hāwera Volunteer Fire Brigade, coaxed the 9-month-old cat out from the fronds and carried her five metres down a ladder to the ground.Catherine Groenestein/StuffA team from the Hāwera Volunteer Fire Brigade rescued the stranded cat from a palm tree on Friday morning. It was the first time he had saved a stranded cat, although he had helped with other rescues. “I’m good with cats,” he said. “And I’ve just proved to my manager I’m not lying.” READ MORE: * Dramatic rescue saves pup from drowning deep in a drain * Arson suspected cause of house fire in South Taranaki * Firefighters rescue cats, dogs, hedgehogs He handed the frightened black cat back to her owner Api Hemara, but the cat wasn’t keen on posing for photos and quickly wriggled out of his arms and took off for home. “She’s been up there all night,” Hemara said. “She’s been calling out, she was in a bit of a state.” It was the first time he had seen the cat climb the tree, in a neighbour’s front yard. He had tried showing her food and even squirting her with a hose to encourage her to come down, but it hadn’t worked. “I tried the SPCA, but they said it was too high [for their staff to climb] and they referred me to these guys,” he said. “I was considering hiring a cherry picker if that didn’t work, that was my next move.”Catherine Groenestein/StuffShadow the rescued cat was feeling camera-shy after her ordeal being stuck in the neighbour’s palm tree for two days. He said he was very grateful to the brigade. “These guys do a lot to protect us at fires and accidents, and then something like this that might seem silly, they are here taking it seriously, which is nice.” The family had an anxious night without their pet, which normally sleeps with one of his older children, he said. “She’s a really cool cat.” Station officer Michael Palmer said the brigade was called to one or two animal rescues each year.Stuff
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