A pet cat had a lucky escape when he was rescued by firefighters after getting himself stuck up a 50ft tree in a field behind his home.
And for owner Sandie Meadows it was the second time within weeks that one of her pets had cheated death by a whisker - another of her cats is still recovering after swallowing an aerial from the family’s Mini Cooper car.
The latest incident happened when Zeus, a pure-bred Birman cat, went missing from his home in Folders Gardens, Burgess Hill, last Thursday. Owner Sandie said: “By the end of Friday I was starting to get really worried about him.”
On Saturday morning Sandie went out searching for him in a field behind her garden. “I called for him and, sure enough, he called back,” said Sandie. “I rang the RSPCA who advised me to monitor him in case he could get himself down, but by Sunday morning it was clear that Zeus was in need of some help, and that’s when the Fire Service and RSPCA came out and rescued him.
“I’m so grateful to them. Thankfully Zeus is now back home with my other cats Li Shou, Dinka and Marble.”
RSPCA animal welfare officer Marie Stevens said: “Often when cats have climbed up high somewhere like a tree or onto a roof, they will come down of their own accord in time, and we do always advise people to monitor them and give them a chance to do this on their own.
“However, in this case, Zeus had still not managed to climb down and the owners did the correct thing in calling us for help.
“West Sussex Fire & Rescue service were absolutely brilliant. Their professionalism and experience makes jobs like this quick and easy, and limits stress on the animal.”
And firefighter Mark Hayter added: “Rescuing animals is just part of our Technical Rescue Unit’s role but we were very pleased to help reunite Zeus safely with his owner.
“We have built a fantastic working relationship with the RSPCA here in West Sussex. We’d echo their advice that more often than not cats will get themselves down from trees, but if it’s clear they can’t then we will assist.”
Zeus’s dramatic rescue comes just weeks after Sandie’s other Birman cat, Li Shou, made headlines after she swallowed the aerial from the car. Thankfully, Li Shou has suffered no long-term effects.