LEOMINSTER, Mass. - A Leominster man's attempt to rescue a cat left him needing a rescue himself while the town's fire department ended up saving both of them.
Zeke the cat is resting comfortably in his Leominster home after two days in a tree, thanks in part to his family's contractor.
James Brennan had been working on a variety of projects at the home for the last couple of months. 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,' and he did," said Jill Patella.
Zeke – an indoor cat – escaped sometime Sunday, leaving the Patella's son devastated.
"He just sat and sobbed," Patella said. "It's hard, your pets are a part of your family."
Brennan tried to reach Zeke Sunday but couldn't, so, he tried again Monday morning.
"He just kept trying and trying and then low and behold he hollered down and said, 'I can't get out,' so things took a turn, and we called 911," Patella said.
Brennan says his belt got caught in one of the branches.
"They activated the local technical rescue team," said Lt. Jon Campagna of the Leominster Fire Department.
That team includes the Forestry Department, which was able to clear branches to reach Brennan.
"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," Lt. Campagna said.
Brennan says 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 not only got Brennan down to safety but was also able to reach Zeke and reunite him with his family.
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