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Old 29 April 2016, 04:09 PM
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Default Where did the trope about firefighters saving cats from trees originate?

Do people actually call the fire department to get cats out of trees? If so, why? Cats are natural climbers. They can likely get down on their own.
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Old 29 April 2016, 04:20 PM
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Used to happen in my small town. My roommate and I called the fd to get her indoor-cat-who-got-out-and-stuck-in-a-tree out of the tree. It just happened to be my cousin and his team who responded. He got the cat out of the tree successfully and even avoided getting scratched. That was well over thirty years ago and I don't think they do it anymore.
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Old 29 April 2016, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Do people actually call the fire department to get cats out of trees? If so, why? Cats are natural climbers. They can likely get down on their own.
They can, but climbing up and climbing down are two different things, and AIUI the position of their claws makes climbing down more difficult.
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Old 29 April 2016, 05:19 PM
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It's been like thirty years since I could call myself a firefighter, but we used to get calls for cats (and other cirtters) in trees. My volunteer department once responded to a pet monkey that had gotten out and was in a tree. After one rescuer ended up taking a trip to the emergency room with bites and scratches, the department changed its policy and would no longer respond to such calls.

I was at the city department taking a class when a call came in for a cat in a tree. I only heard one side of the conversation that concluded with, "is the cat on fire? Is the tree on fire? Then we can't help you."

these days I do see the local departments helping get a bird tangled in fishing line and caught in a tree or telephone line now and then, but cat rescues are left for others to handle.
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Old 29 April 2016, 05:53 PM
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Cats can usually get themselves down from trees; but once in a while one really is stuck. And I've had a cat fall out of a tree -- she wasn't significantly hurt, luckily.

Usually IME a cat having genuine problems in a tree is either a kitten, or a cat usually an indoor cat (the one who fell out of a tree was a young adult transitioning from indoor city cat to indoor/outdoor country cat; she apparently didn't know yet that not all branches would hold her weight.)

First thing to try, before bothering the fire department even if they'll cooperate: open a can of tuna at the bottom of the tree. Leave the tuna there, and leave the cat alone for a while, also removing any dogs etc. in the area.
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Old 29 April 2016, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Do people actually call the fire department to get cats out of trees? If so, why?
Fire companies have ladders, and sometimes aerials.

OY
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Old 29 April 2016, 07:47 PM
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I have received and overheard calls for cat rescues, and participated in one with our bucket truck (although it was my partner, who was an experienced tree climber, who did the actual work). Generally speaking, though, we don't respond unless it can be shown that the cat is in actual peril (been up for 2+ days, etc.). It's both dangerous and somewhat expensive to run an aerial ladder to bring down a ball of claws and spitting teeth; it's not done on a whim.
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Old 05 May 2016, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Do people actually call the fire department to get cats out of trees? If so, why? Cats are natural climbers. They can likely get down on their own.
Firefighters rescue cats, if not from trees.

Quote:
Rescue workers for the Turlock Fire Department in California were dispatched to a fire early Monday morning, where they successfully rescued four adorable kittens from the blaze.

http://mashable.com/2016/05/05/kitte.../#Y6EGy761LaqH


(The kitties were ok, and reunited with mom! )
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Old 05 May 2016, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
First thing to try, before bothering the fire department even if they'll cooperate: open a can of tuna at the bottom of the tree. Leave the tuna there, and leave the cat alone for a while, also removing any dogs etc. in the area.
Helpful hint - remove dogs and other cats from the area BEFORE setting out the can of tuna!
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Old 05 May 2016, 08:15 PM
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double-post.
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  #11  
Old 05 May 2016, 10:58 PM
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ATNM, you have a point there --

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Old 12 August 2016, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Do people actually call the fire department to get cats out of trees?
Yes.

During my 28 years in the Fire Service (currently retired), I have been called to multiple locations where a cat was allegedly in a tree. My time on scene was usually (not always) spent telling the residents and neighbors that the cat will be fine and will come down when it is hungry.

Quote:
If so, why?
As mentioned by another poster, Firefighters have always been among the first to be called, because 1. we arrive quickly. 2, we bring ladders.

Quote:
Cats are natural climbers. They can likely get down on their own.

This is exactly why I'd never place a member of my crew in danger for a situation that will remedy itself.

A few lines above, I used a parenthetical "not always." Thats because on several of those responses, we've needed to mount a rescue effort for the citizen who climbed up the tree after the cat. My personal favorite was one guy who was literally stuck between two limbs (I kid you not), crotch-to-crotch. Now, try to get that image out of your head

- P
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