LEOMINSTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts man's attempt to rescue a cat left him needing a rescue himself Monday.
Zeke the cat is resting comfortably in his Leominster home after two days in a tree, thanks in part to his family's contractor.
Zeke – an indoor cat – escaped sometime Sunday, leaving the Patella family's son devastated.
"He just sat and sobbed," Jill Patella said. "It's hard, your pets are a part of your family."
James Brennan had been working on a variety of projects at the family's home for the last couple of months. He said he wasn't expecting this latest project.
"I knew he had the ladder so I called him and (said), 'Can you come with your tallest ladder?'" Patella said. "And he did."
Brennan tried to reach Zeke on Sunday but couldn't. He tried again Monday morning.
"He just kept trying and trying, and then lo and behold, he hollered down and said, 'I can't get out,'" Patella said. "So, things took a turn and we called 911."
Brennan said his belt got caught in one of the branches.
Lt. Jon Campagna of the Leominster Fire Department said the department activated the local technical rescue team, which includes officials with the Forestry Department.
The Forestry Department was able to clear branches to reach Brennan, Campagna said.
"We were able to back our ladder right into here and we raised it to where the person was, and two tech rescues got him down," Campagna said.
Brennan said there is a personal reason why he didn’t hesitate to help and why it was so worth the risk of climbing nearly 50 feet up that tree.
"Recently our family cat died. … He died of stage 4 cancer," he said. "I know if it was our cat, my daughters would expect me to get up in a tree, so I guess I just showed up and climbed a tree."
The fire department got Brennan down to safety and was also able to reach Zeke and reunite him with his family.
Cox Media Group