It’s a bit of a cliché, but it actually happened. D.C. firefighters rescued a cat from a tree after he spent the night stranded on a branch, dozens of feet off the ground.
Firefighters from the station in the 5000 block of Georgia Avenue, Northwest, were alerted to Coco the cat’s distress about 1 p.m. Monday. Coco’s owner came to firefighters for help after attempts to lure Coco down from the tree had failed, said Lt. Ronnie Marconi.
“I said, 'Have you tried to put a can of food down at the bottom of the tree?'” Marconi said. “She said, ‘Yes, and nothing has worked.’”
Firefighters don’t usually get cats out of trees, but since Coco had been in the tree since the previous night and other attempts had failed, Marconi said they would go take a look.
When firefighters arrived in the alley to the rear of the 800 block of Marietta Place, NW, they saw Coco straddling the tree branch, paws hanging in the air from exhaustion.
Firefighters worried their approach would scare Coco and cause him to retreat further into the tree, but the cat was so exhausted he couldn’t put up a fight, said firefighter Matthew McIntyre, who climbed the ladder to rescue Coco.
“I’m the youngest, so that pretty much how it works,” McIntyre said when asked why he was the one to perform the rescue. “But I would’ve volunteered anyway.”
The rescue is a first for McIntyre and Marconi, who have been firefighters for 10 and 24 years respectively.
“I’ve been on top of roofs, because someone said there’s a dead raccoon on top, so the calls that we get are sometimes out there,” Marconi said. “But we’re just glad we were able to help out.”