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Midway 1st responders rescue cat

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POSTED: May 6, 2014 8:00 a.m.
Photo by Lewis Levine/

Midway Fire Department firefighter Gary Lewis climbs an extension ladder Tuesday to rescue Isle of Wight resident Robin Lee’s cat, Rabbitt, from the tree she was stuck in for nearly 30 hours.

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The Midway owner of a pregnant cat that was stuck in a tree for nearly 30 hours is relieved and grateful to local first responders who learned of her pet’s situation and came to its rescue.
Rabbitt the cat’s adventure began Monday morning when her owner, Isle of Wight resident Robin Lee, let her into the backyard, where Rabbitt normally lies around in the sun.
Soon after that, Lee said she heard Rabbitt screech three times, but when she went to investigate, the feline was nowhere to be found.
Lee called out to her cat, who she said normally returns at the sound of her voice. Rabbitt did not appear, and Lee heard a meow from above her head, where she found her pet clinging to an oak-tree limb.
Rabbitt occasionally paced the length of the branch, which is about 30 feet above the ground, at times hanging precariously from the edge.
For 28 hours, Lee watched helplessly as Rabbitt hung from the limb. She called 911 and was told the county would not dispatch a unit to retrieve a cat from a tree. Lee was advised to contact a tree-removal service. She did, but was told Rabbitt’s retrieval would cost her no less than $100.
“That was my last resort — to pay the money if I couldn’t get any help,” Lee said.
She called 911 again and a sympathetic dispatcher provided the phone number for the Lake George Fire and Rescue Department, but since the station is not manned, she was unable to reach anyone.
On Tuesday, Midway Police Chief Kelli Morningstar learned of Rabbitt’s predicament and went to Lee’s home with Officer Mark Rich to offer assistance. When Morningstar saw how high up Rabbitt was, she called Midway Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Feinhals.
Feinhals and firefighters Gary Lewis and Daniel Hamilton responded to the scene. Using an extension ladder and safety lines, Lewis climbed up the ladder and rescued Rabbitt, who, by that time, was meowing very faintly.
Lee said Rabbitt is fine and has caught up on much-needed sleep.
“I can’t thank the Midway Fire Department and police department enough for their help,” she said. “Without their help and rescuing her, I have no idea how much longer she could have held on.”

 

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