A tree surgeon has been hailed a hero after rescuing a cat from high in a tree in Portadown, three days after getting stuck.
Intrepid cat lover Vilma Orzekauskaite spotted that cat as she looked out from her window over the People’s Park and realised the feline was unable to get down.
However despite many attempts to coax it from the tree, Vilma went on the hunt to find someone who could help.
Indeed she rang the NI Fire and Rescue Service, only to discover that they no longer carry out cat rescues.
She scoured the internet looking for advice on how to get the cat from the tree.
But despite leaving out food and employing all sorts of tricks, the cat stubbornly remained out of reach.
Vilma, who works in Moy Park, explained that the cat had perched itself on a branch dangling dangerously over the river and it was extremely high.
“It was too high for me to get up there,” she said.
Vilma then went online and after three days of posting and asking for help, arborist (tree surgeon) Peter Boyd came to the rescue.
The Lithuanian national, who adores cats, described Peter as a hero.
The 37-year-old Moira man said he had spotted the plea for help on a Banbridge Facebook page and decided that after a fairly boring Easter holiday, he needed a little adventure.
After finishing work, Peter eventually landed at Vilma’s Portadown home around midnight.
In lashing rain, he rigged his ropes and harnesses and climbed the tree - eventually coaxing the tiny animal into his arms.
“I used the rope and harnesses as it left my hands free to get the cat. He was happy enough in my arms but then about three yards from the bottom I got a bit tangled in a rope and he climbed off me onto another branch. I shone a torch down the tree trunk and the cat just scaled the last leg down himself,” said a modest Peter who works for Annett ARB Tree Care Specialists.
Vilma said she was amazed at all the good people in the Portadown and Banbridge areas who shared her post and helped find a solution.
As for the cat - Vilma believes it is a local cat as it is well fed rather than a feral cat but fears it may not be the last time as the same cat has been stuck up this tree before.