Happy news about animals
VALLEY COTTAGE – For a week straight, Nancy Deacon-Owens and her neighbors heard a constant meowing at night.
Just down the street, a cat had made its way 50 or 60 feet up a tree. It turned out 3-month-old Blackie belonged to Owens’ neighbor, Doreen McQuillan on Christian Herald Road.
“I’m assuming either a truck or an animal or something must have chased it,” McQuillan said. “It’s been out before, but this is the first time this has happened. I’m sure it’s going to be the last.”
Together, with other neighbors in the area, McQuillan and Owens called fire departments, animal shelters and Clarkstown Animal Control Officer Pat Coleman with the hope that someone would get the cat down.
But no one came.
Cats typically come down after 24 to 48 hours, Coleman said, so town officials don’t respond to such calls.
After several days passed, however, McQuillan and Deacon-Owens were beginning to wonder if the cat would even survive.
Other people in the neighborhood came out and brought ladders, or food, to try to lure it down, but nothing worked.
“It’s been this whole sort of event,” Owens said. “It’s been a whole little community trying to save this cat.”
Finally, a representative from Ira Wickes, a tree service company, told neighbors it would send someone over for free.
Yesterday afternoon, Rich Hawkenberry, a foreman-climber with the company, reached toward the cat as old branches and twigs fell off the tree and bounced on the ground below.
It was the third cat rescue for Hawkenberry, who said he’s quickly becoming accustomed to the cat-rescuing technique.
“The cat did exactly what I thought it would do, run away from me,” he said, back on the ground and gathering his equipment. “It seemed pretty fearful, though we were trying to help it.”
His colleague then reached for the cat on the other side of the tree and managed to secure it in a white and blue pillowcase.
A happy McQuillan, meanwhile, whisked her cat back home to feed it and make sure it was healthy. But not before opening the pillowcase to take a peek and say hi.
Blackie looked up and meowed right back.