A CAT stuck up a tree is the stereotypical rescue for firemen.
Well that is what happened for one less than fearless feline in Middleton-St-George today (Sunday).
"It’s common to get calls about cats up trees but this is the first time I’ve been called to rescue a cat in this particular predicament," said Teesside RSPCA Inspector, Clare Wilson, who was called to the scene.
"I arrived and located the owner of the cat Mandy Pollock who showed me to a paddock behind the houses where her tabby and white cat Alfie had got stuck.
"She explained that some dogs had chased Alfie and he had shot up like a rocket to the very top of the telegraph pole a couple of hours earlier."
Mrs Pollock had tried to tempt him down but he was staying put.
"I saw he was precariously balancing on the very top of the pole with his paws resting on a metal ring around the top," said Ms Wilson. "He was shifting his weight and was very high up and I didn’t think he would be able to climb down from where he was.
"I was concerned about him falling all that way and decided we must help him get down. It was too high for my ladder so I called out the fire brigade to assist me."
Ms Wilson also called BT to make sure that there was no electricity running through and when they had confirmed it was safe the fire brigade set about the rescue.
"The firemen put a ladder up which just about reached Alfie and armed with my net they climbed up towards him," she said. "Sometimes cats will panic and jump so I was pleased to see that Alfie remained calm and seemed to realise that the firemen were trying to help him.
"He turned around to face them and the fireman stroked him to gain his trust. He then, on my advice, lifted him by the scruff of his neck and brought him down safely.
"As soon as he landed on solid ground Alfie raced off towards his house. I went round with Mrs Pollock and we found Alfie relaxing in the kitchen. He wasn’t injured and seemed happy to be home and to be reunited with his family after his ordeal."
Ms Wilson added: "I love dealing with jobs like this and was glad everything went to plan and that we got Alfie down safely. Durham fire brigade did a fantastic job and I am always grateful that they agree to assist the RSPCA in situations like this."
The RSPCA is a charity funded entirely by public donations. Please text HELP15 to 70099 now and contribute £3 if you can.