The cat eagerly greeted Daniel, especially once the cat biscuits had been revealed.
An 11-year-old boy has been rewarded for his heroic efforts rescuing a cat that had been deemed to high up to retrieve by an Auckland fire brigade.
Glendowie’s Carmen Brown had become extremely worried about her cat, Esca, after it had been stuck up a tree at Tahuna Torea reserve for four days.
Brown said she contacted the St Heliers fire brigade, but was told they didn’t have a ladder long enough to reach the cat up the 15-meter tree.
“They were also concerned that they would scare the cat even further up, and said it would be better to wait for him to come down,” Brown said.
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A fireman at the station said the brigade’s longest ladder was 10.5m.
Brown tried an arborist, but needed Auckland Council permission to scale the tree because it was in a reserve.
In the meantime, she posted on the local community page asking residents to keep an eye out, in case Esca came down.
Daniel Penman, and his mother Andrea saw the post and decided to help. Andrea said her son was an excellent tree climber.
“It’s like he’s part monkey,” Penman said.
“The other parents get frightened when they see him climb that high, but he’s an excellent judge of his own safety.”
When Daniel clambered up the tree, Esca was glad to see him, coming to greet the boy. He’d taken cat biscuits in his pocket up and gave Esca a much-appreciated snack.
Daniel had also taken a drawstring bag up the tree to transport Esca back down.
However, the cat proved difficult to coax inside so he also tried to make a sling out of his jersey, but that was unsuccessful too.
In the end, Daniel made a harness out of a rope. He’s a sailor and used his knowledge of knots to devise something sturdy, but not too tight.
Esca was lowered to ground level where Andrea was ready with a towel to catch him.
Brown was so pleased to be reunited with her beloved pet, she gave Daniel a cash reward.
“I was horrified when I saw how high Daniel climbed up the tree. I told my husband to take whatever cash we had in our wallets to give him. It turned out to be $40.”
Brown said that Esca was hungry, thirsty and looking a little scruffy, but otherwise fine.
“He’s just been cuddling his sister cat since he got home. I’m reluctant to let him out again because I can’t be sure he’s learned his lesson.”
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