West Kelowna  

Michael the cat rescued from his willowy perch

Cat-astrophe averted

He was a cat in a tree, and then in a bag. Now he’s safely back with his family.

Michael the feline spent about six hours up a willow tree in a yard in West Kelowna, before Matthew March from Smart Tree Care swooped in to scoop him up and lower him to safety.

Neighbour Shannon Parnell sent Castanet a picture of Matthew when he was back on the ground with Michael. She praised March for coming as soon as they called, and for speaking so kindly to the cat as he lured him to safety from the large weeping willow on Keloka Way.

The bait was Michael’s favourite treat.

Matthew explains what happened when he climbed up to retrieve the cat. “He managed to turn himself around out there and he was facing me when I got up about eye level with him. I managed to coax him to walk towards me with a piece of mozzarella cheese. He all but stuck his head in my cat rescue bag. I grabbed him and put him in there and...down safe and sound.”

He adds the most challenging part of the operation was the tree. Most of the cats he’s rescued in the past have climbed conifers, not a deciduous tree like a willow.

“Weeping willow has particularly brittle lateral branches. So you don’t want to be walking out on anything less than six inches.”

March says climbing up to retrieve a cat isn’t something you should do unless you have the proper training, like an arborist undergoes, and are wearing safety equipment.

More West Kelowna News