Hank, a one-and-a-half-year-old cat, usually spent his days in his backyard in northeastern Washington and sometimes roamed the garden of the nuns who lived on the block. He liked to smell their flowers.
But recently, he became the protagonist of a story that kept many people in suspense: he was stuck in a tree about 18 meters high for five days and four nights without food or water. It took about three dozen neighbors, friends, animal rescue volunteers and strangers who worked together and tried half a dozen methods, including using high ladders, baskets, and catnip, to get him down safely. .
“Realizing that someone you love is in trouble and you personally can’t do anything about it is very frustrating,” said Delores Bushong, 74, the owner of Hank, who took him from a rescue shelter in the Shenandoah Valley area. . It really took a lot of people all together and trying an incredible number of different things to get Hank out of that tree. “
Bushong believes that Hank ended up under a fence and then was frightened by a neighbor’s dogs and climbed the tree. And the more he became frightened even in the presence of the help, the higher he climbed.
Bushong also called a construction company to ask to rent scaffolding, but was told she would have to book the equipment 48 days in advance. Renting a high ladder was expensive and difficult to find.
One of the volunteers who rushed up suggested that Hanks’ owner call the owner of a nearby pest control company, EJ’s Pest Control, which had a tall ladder. She did and the owner, Ijeoma Maduforo-Barry, told her she could use her 12-meter high ladder.
By the fifth unsuccessful day, the Humane Rescue Alliance offices were rumored to have failed rescue attempts.
Lydia Krassensky, who works on the agency’s customer service team, told another staff member how her sister and brother-in-law had set up a rope system and basket years ago, with some items inside that had their own. perfume, to attract their cat and successfully dropped it from a tree.
So they decided to give it a try with some ropes and several tools maneuvered a small crate with special items inside: catnip, a pair of Bushong slippers, a scratching post and a furry blanket. They put it in the right place and Hank took the bait: he jumped in.
When Hank finally landed, Bushong took him in his arms and he started purring her. Then he went into the house, ate very well and lay down exhausted in his favorite chair.
“I can’t believe how many people went out of their way to help me with this cat. … No one has ever said: “This is ridiculous” – Ms. Bushong commented with emotion -. It made me feel good to live in a neighborhood where people would help do whatever they could to get him off. It has given me hope ».
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