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Cat rescued after spending 5 days in tree

Oct. 30, 2011 at 9:33 PM

PORTSMOUTH, Va., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A Portsmouth, Va., family's cat was finally rescued after spending five days stuck in a pine tree 40 feet off the ground.

The Portsmouth Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services tried several times Friday to get Furball Whiskers out of the tree he climbed up after being chased by neighborhood dogs Monday, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported. Nearby power lines prevented the crews from using a ladder truck.

Firefighters drove past the tree three times Friday, hoping the cat would come within reach, but the cat was too tired, scared and hungry to move from his perch.

"I was shocked at how helpful and concerned they were," Faith Martins, Furball's owner, said.

Martins spent Saturday morning calling tree services to find someone who would attempt a rescue. Mitchell MacCartney of Pro Tree Care in Norfolk said he would do it.

Using spikes and a wraparound belt, MacCartney climbed the tree, lured the cat to him with tuna, grabbed him and brought him safely to the ground.

Martins said she had to keep her daughter, Amy and Viola, inside the house during the rescue, in case things went badly. When it ended well, the girls were happy to see their cat again.

"They're very excited," Martins said.

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