It’s the age-old tale that sees a firefighter rescue a stricken moggy from the top of a tree, but that’s just what happened in Minnigaff this week.
The owners of young male cat Tig were distraught when he vanished from their Edinburgh Road home on Sunday.
So when they spotted him 45ft up a tree on the adjacent golf course two days later, relief turned to dismay when they realised he was stuck and couldn’t figure out how to make his way back down.
Mary Agnew called for help from the local Cats Protection branch, from whom she and her husband had adopted Tig just seven weeks earlier. Sally Adam from the branch became involved and it was decided to seek assistance from the SSPCA.
However, the animal protection body said it was unable to help. Out of desperation, Mrs Agnew offered to cover the cost of calling out a fire crew but the service said it could only deploy a crew if requested to do so by the SSPCA.
So facing a Catch-22 situation, Sally, who had contacted the Gazette to seek publicity in finding Tig when he first went missing, updated our team on his whereabouts and explained the Agnews were having no luck rescuing him.
Aware of local firefighter Dabbie McCreadie, who lives nearby, the Gazette contacted him for advice on how to seek help from the service. But within 10 minutes of hearing about Tig’s plight from us, off-duty Dabbie – who is also a gardener – was on-scene climbing up the tree himself.
In pouring rain, he managed to cover the terrified moggy in his jacket and slowly lower him back down to safety.
Mrs Agnew was full of praise for the effort and told us afterwards: “He was marvellous. The manner in which he rescued Tig was just fantastic. He calmed him down, wrapped him in his jacket and a sheet and stopped every so often to reassure him.”
Mrs Agnew also thanked the Gazette for organising the rescue and Sally for coordinating with us. She added: “Tig had been up there on Tuesday night when it was blowing a gale and chucking it from the heavens. It’s a wonder he managed to cling on but he’s absolutely fine now – just shattered. He stuck his head outside last night but decided against it, so it will take him a few days to rebuild his confidence again.
“But the effort to bring him back to us was just so kind. We were getting nowhere and had even contacted local tree surgeon Ben Lockwood who was coming to help later that day. We’d been so worried for him for three days and then from Dabbie arriving to Tig being back home with us was just about 10 minutes in total. We we can’t thank him and everyone else enough.”