Darlington cat saved after spending four days stuck up 40ft tree

Larry the cat was rescued after four days stuck up a tree. Credit: RSPCA

A cat has made a grateful return home after getting stuck up a tree for four days.

Larry clambered up a tree near his home in Northgate, Darlington but was too afraid to get himself back down.

His owners, Frances McKie-Jones, her husband and two sons Theo, six, and Samuel, five, spent three days trying to coax him down by offering him food and treats.

The family called the RSPCA once torrential rain set in and the animal charity called in the services of a Norton-based tree surgeon for help when the fire service was unable to assist.

Austin Sharp arrived on the scene within half an hour of the phone call, scaling the tree and catching Larry, despite his best efforts to get further away. He carried him down to safety in a transport bag usually reserved for rescuing seals at sea. 

Theo and Samuel were buzzing to be reunited with Larry. Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA animal rescue officer Krissy Raine, who was first on the scene, said: “The poor McKie-Jones’ were so worried about Larry, they had done everything they were supposed to and tried tirelessly to coax Larry back down. Often cats will free themselves if you give them enough time, space and incentive to move, but Larry was refusing to budge. 

“He’d got himself to quite a height and was terrified to come back down. Larry was crying away up there and the family had been offering him treats, leaving food for him, putting up ladders and calling to him. But nothing, not even torrential rain, would shift him from his perch. 

“It was a very tense rescue, every time Austin climbed to reach Larry, the cat climbed a little higher, and this went on for quite a bit! Then Larry walked out onto a very thin branch and we were all holding our breath, praying he didn’t fall.

“Luckily Larry was uninjured, just a little frightened from his four-day ordeal. I’m so pleased we have such a happy ending to this story, it was wonderful to be able to reunite this lovely family with their beloved cat.”

ARO Shane Lynn with Larry. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA encourages owners to try and give their cats enough time, usually 24 hours, to come down from trees on their own by trying to tempt them with smelly treats or by warming food a little to increase its odour. 

They often end up making their way back down but every case is different and anyone concerned can visit the RSPCA website for advice.

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