I smiled when I read about the Cape Ferrelo Rural Fire Department’s rescue of a cat from a tree. And then I snickered.

What cat gets stuck in a tree?

Have you ever seen the bones of a cat in a tree?

But the volunteers went out anyway, in defiance of all logic.

As a retired firefighter, I would normally roll my eyes and think how stereotypically cute is it for firefighters to rescue a cat from a tree!

Instead, I smiled. I’ve been there.

We were hanging out at the station, hurrying up and waiting for the next Big Call, when dispatch summoned us to the report of a cat that had treed for three days. We told dispatch to tell the lady — hey! We had a reputation to uphold among fellow emergency responders! — that we had much more important things to do! We had to write a safety report about the buckled carpet in the hallway … and fill up oxygen tanks … and shine the chrome on the engine bumper …

Once dispatch was out of earshot, we shot furtive glances at each other — should we? — cracking smiles, thinking we had nothing else to do … Why not! Could be fun.

We called the lady to tell her we’d “changed our minds.” We’d be there.

We drove out to the house, and sure enough, kitty in a tree, hysterical woman at the base.

“I mean really,” someone said. “Have you ever seen the bones of cats in a tree?”

He might as well have slapped her. She burst into tears. The cat climbed higher.

We “assessed the situation” by staring at the cat in the tree. This would a bit more complex than we thought.

The first branch of the tree was far above our heads, and the ones above it would not hold more than the weight of, say, a scared cat. Our ground ladder wouldn’t work because of the density of the foliage. We were going to have to roll out the big gun — the Ladder Truck.

We never got to use the ladder truck — something to do with having purchased it in excitement only to discover it wouldn’t fit in the traffic circles of the only hotels where we might need it.

The truck posed some interesting dilemmas, as well. It wouldn’t fit in the backyard, and extending the ladder over the house — well, it has to do with the length of the ladder, the angle made between the truck and tree: Very dangerous.

But we’re firefighters! We love danger! We run into burning buildings when even the cockroaches are running out!

So we extended the ladder — the cat climbed higher— sent our smallest firefighter up through the branches. She grabbed the cat, stuffed it in her bunker jacket and descended to the ground. HERO!

“Oh, Puddy Tat!” the lady scolded. “Bad kitty! Oh, I’m so happy you’re safe! Bad puddy!”

Categories are artists in several media, including metal, gourds, jewelry, photography, wood, pottery, fabric, soap, Bonsai, botanicals and baskets.

Musicians scheduled to perform on Saturday are Rapp Brush from noon to 1 p.m., John Marshall from 1:15 to 2:15 and Lon Goddard and Patty Anne Da Cunha from 2:30 to 5. Sunday performers are Richard Gyuro from noon to 1 p.m., Hither, Thither and Yon from 1 to 2, Toni Land from 2 to 3 and Steve Harrington from 3 to 4.

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