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Boots the cat reunited with owner

July 13, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A cat that was stuck in a tree for nearly eight days is back with its owner, who was away on vacation while her pet was the center of attention.

On Monday, Jessica Piper and her boyfriend, Lance Turner, picked up Boots the cat from the Humane Society of Washington County.

Piper said Boots, a 10-month-old male, belongs to her 6-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who was thrilled to have him back and considers him a "movie star" based on the publicity he got.

Alyssa cut out pictures of Boots that ran in The Herald-Mail as the newspaper covered the cat's plight.

Piper, a former Herald-Mail employee who lives in the Robins Glenn development near Hagerstown Community College, said Boots has come home every time she let him outside.

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But while Piper and her daughter were away, and someone looked after their home, Boots went out and didn't return.

The family has joked that the outing was Boots' "Sunday stroll."

They saw Boots was missing when they got home Saturday evening. Piper said her grandmother told her Boots was the cat in the newspaper stories and pictures.

On June 29, Lynda Dominick, who lives in the Brandywine complex, reported to the Humane Society that a cat was stuck in a nearby tree, about 30 feet high.

Two days later, she reported again that the cat was stuck. Someone from the Humane Society tried to get the cat, but it climbed higher.

On July 6, the cat's eighth day in the tree, Garrett Tharp of the Doctor Tree trimming business climbed the tree and retrieved Boots, who was an estimated 80 feet up.

Piper used to work in circulation, advertising and outside sales at The Herald-Mail.

The Humane Society used the news of the owner and cat reunion to repeat its advice that pet cats be kept inside.

"Becoming stranded in a tree is one of the many hazards a cat faces when outside," the Humane Society wrote in a news release.

The Humane Society also encouraged pet owners to have microchips put in their pets as a way to help find them if they get lost.

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