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Cat perched in tree refuses to be 'rescued'

July 01, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Wednesday was the third straight day a cat was perched in a tree outside Lynda Dominick's home in the Brandywine complex near Hagerstown Community College.

On Monday and Tuesday, days 1 and 2, Dominick asked the Humane Society of Washington County to help. She said she was told cats usually come down after about three days.

On Wednesday, day 3, Dominick called again, then called The Herald-Mail when she thought the Humane Society wasn't paying enough attention to the problem.

A few hours after a reporter called the Humane Society to ask if it planned to try to get the cat down, an animal control officer was at Dominick's home.

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Dominick said the officer stood atop a 6-foot fence and used an extended pole to try to catch the cat, which was about 30 feet up in the tree.

The rescue attempt failed. Dominick said the cat climbed another 10 feet up the tree. Humane Society spokeswoman Katherine Cooker said it might have been 20 feet.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Humane Society had decided to hire a tree service to help, but the effort never progressed that far.

Cooker said the tree is in Dominick's neighbor's yard and the neighbor wouldn't allow a truck onto the property so someone can try to grab the cat.

"There's nothing we can do at this point," Cooker said about 4:30 p.m.

After spotting the cat Monday afternoon, Dominick tried to do the right things to entice the cat to come down on its own.

She said she placed a bowl of food at the base of the tree, even shaking the bowl and its contents so the cat would know it was there.

In situations like this, the less fuss, the better, Cooker said.

She said cats tend to scamper up trees when they're frightened. The best thing is to leave the cat alone and keep dogs, children and spectators away, she said.

"Let nature take its course ..." Cooker said. "It will usually sneak down in the middle of the night."

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