This California cat was stuck in a 90-foot palm tree for nearly two weeks … then he fell

Life surrounded by palm fronds isn’t all its cracked up to be. Not when you’ve spent almost two weeks living in a Pico Rivera tree, nearly 100-feet in the air, and a guy in a crane — whom you’ve never met — is trying to pull you into God-knows-where.

Maybe you’d do the same thing as Mikey, the 1-year-old tabby cat: Maybe you’d decide to take matters into your own hands, er, claws, and jump.

“Just goes to show you, what goes up doesn’t have to come down,” Mikey’s owner, Dolores Lopez, said.

At least not right away.

Lopez said the indoor cat escaped from his plush living room digs on Wednesday morning, Sept. 25, almost two weeks ago.

He does that sometimes, Lopez said, but this time, she couldn’t find him anywhere. That’s when she heard his meows coming from the 90-foot tall palm tree in the neighbor’s yard.

She called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who sent a deputy to her house before calling the county Fire Department. When firefighters arrived on the scene, she said they saw how high up the cat was and determined they couldn’t do anything to help. He’ll come down when he’s hungry, they said.

When she’d jingle his bag of dry food, he’d meow and stare longingly. But Mikey wouldn’t come down, Lopez said.

When Monday, Sept. 30 rolled around — already five days in the tree — the Fire Department came out again, this time with a hose, and tried to frighten the cat out of the tree, but he simply hid among the branches, Lopez said. He just wouldn’t budge. Not for the canned tuna she left out, not for the dry food, not even for the Kentucky Fried Chicken she wafted for him — the latter is what the local animal control agency suggested trying.

The neighbors’ dogs would sit in the yard, looking concerned; the neighborhood cats would sit at the base of the tree, staring and caterwauling, with Mikey responding with meows, she said.

Whenever Lopez or her family would walk outside, he’d cry at them too. But still, he wouldn’t come down.

By Thursday, the Fire Department came out again, but its ladder couldn’t reach the cat. We’ve never had a cat die in a tree, they reassured her. He’ll come down when he gets hungry, they said again.

But he didn’t, so he must’ve been eating something up there, she thought. “He’s cleaning up the palm tree,” Lopez said, laughing. “Whatever’s living up there, he’s exterminating it.”

While all of this was happening, her friend had reached out to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization put out a call for anyone who could help. By Monday morning — now 11 days of tree-life living — a local crane company known as The Crane Guys of La Mirada finally came to the rescue, a PETA spokeswoman said.

Arriving on the scene just as the sun was setting on Monday, Oct. 7, a 120-foot bucket truck pulled up next to the tree.

Men in hard hats planted the cranes’ legs. Animal rescuer Miles Burkhart climbed into a cage that was hoisted nearly 100 feet into the air. He cooed to the cat, talking to him gently. Everything was going well until he reached out to pull him to safety. That’s when Mikey leapt.

“He decided to jump himself free,” Lopez said.

Out of all the people standing around, almost no one seemed to see Mikey fall, not even Burkhart hanging in a cage next to the tree. They spent another 45 minutes looking for him, she said, pulling back palm fronds to make sure Mikey hadn’t hidden himself. But Lopez knew.

“I saw it as soon as he spread his four legs,” she said. “That’s not a branch, that’s Mikey.”

They searched high and low, far and wide, in yards and in homes, but at first, Mikey was nowhere to be found.

Then, a little tabby cat darted from some bushes “like a cat out of hell,” she said, and disappeared under a neighbor’s house. Hours later, Lopez and her daughter heard his cries. All the neighborhood cats seemed to hear it too; they were gathered around the foundation, staring at Mikey underneath. When Lopez went to check, he dashed from parked car to parked car, settling himself under the lowest one in the backyard.

Lopez stood on one side, her adult daughter Christine on the other — reaching out, grabbing little Mikey and pulling him out.

“We thought he’d be in worse shape,” Lopez said, but he doesn’t seem to have any injuries. He hasn’t stopped eating and drinking water since his return. “And all he wants to do is being petted, petted, petted,” she said.

On Monday night, Lopez said they had their first night of good sleep in nearly two weeks. She lauded the community of neighbors, nonprofit workers and, of course, the crane operators for coming to help bring her Mikey home.

“It proved that there’s a lot of people that care,” she said. “Human kindness still exists.”

As for Mikey, he’s facing a harsh sentencing: “He’s doing life inside the house now,” Lopez said. “After he decides to get paroled, he might walk on a leash.”

Source: mercurynews
This California cat was stuck in a 90-foot palm tree for nearly two weeks … then he fell