The Russellville Rural Fire Department lent their help recently to a fury little feline that had gotten stuck on top of a roof. The cat, named Bonnie, and her owners Tom and Judith Hoover, could not have been more appreciative for the kind and caring firefighters and all they did to help.
In the old days it was common place that the fire department would respond to trapped cats. However, this is the first time the rural department has received a kitty call, said fire chief Cheryl Allen, adding that it was new territory for her as well.
The Hoovers said they noticed their young cat almost immediately after she climbed on the roof, but since they had cats get up there before and climb down they decided to give Bonnie time to find her own way. After awhile, the Hoovers started trying to coax her down with food, to no avail.
“As soon as we went outside we knew were she was because she was crying. We tried to lower her down with food and all the things you can think of to get her down. She would lower her paw, but just couldn’t do it,” said Mrs. Hoover.
The Hoovers have a tall chimney they say Bonnie was able to get on top of and lay down. “We have had other cats over the years get up there and find their way down and it’s never been a problem, but she is young and I guess she was afraid to try,” said Mrs. Hoover.
On the third day, Judith said she called the fire department to see if they would help. “You know the old stories about fireman rescuing cats, well we thought we’d see what they’d say,” said Mrs. Hoover.
At first the department didn’t know if they would have a long enough ladder to reach the cat, but they ended up using two, which did the trick.
“I was afraid she would fight, claw and scratch them, but she was very calm and came right to them,” said Mrs. Hoover. “I could not be more grateful to the firefighters, not only for getting the cat down, but for their attitudes. They were so concerned and kind… they were great,” she said, adding that it’s kind of nice this time of year to talk about something good instead of all the bad.
“When I called Mrs. Hoover and she told me the situation, I could sense the desperation in her voice, so I told her we would come out and take a look,” said chief Allen.
When the fire department got there, they were able to get on a second story deck and set up a 20 foot extension ladder and a 10 foot roof ladder to reach the top of the house.
“The cat was surprisingly grateful to see us. We had taken up a pillow case to put the cat in, but did not need it. Bonnie allowed the firefighters to retrieve her with no issues. After she was on the ground she began to eat and drink. This was my first on cat rescues, but it felt good to have Mrs. Hoover relieved and she was very grateful for having her beloved pet back in her arms. She ask if she owed us anything and I told her absolutely not, our payment was in her eyes,” said Allen.
The Firefighters that responded were Capt. David Browning, Jerry Browning and Jake Burnett.