If cats have nine lives, then a Spartanburg feline is probably down to eight after what happened Wednesday.
News Channel 7 got a call from a resident at Quail Pointe Apartments on East Blackstock Road. The caller said a cat had been stuck on the roof of one of the apartment buildings for several days and no one could get it down. When we went to check it out, we found out the situation was worse: Tasha Allen, the property manager, told us the cat had been there for THREE WEEKS, kept alive by a concerned tenant named Cherie Holsten.
Holsten says she discovered the small, white cat three weeks ago when she heard it crying from the roof of building C. The cat had apparently climbed up a tree that grows close to the building and climbed out on a limb and over to the roof. But the feline was afraid to get down the way it came up. We observed it pacing along the edge of the roof, meowing from time to time. Holsten has been feeding the cat by using a long pole with a bucket of food attached to the end. She says the cat is a stray.
Allen says the Westview-Fairforest fire department came out twice and tried to rescue the cat, but the skittish kitty would not let firefighters grab it. She says the department told her it could no longer put firefighters' safety in jeopardy by sending them onto the roof for a cat. Allen then sought the help of Spartanburg County Animal Control, but officials there told her they could not put their officers at risk by having them climb on the roof. She then called several tree removal and animal rescue services, but all of them wanted large amounts of money for the job.
So that's when News Channel 7 stepped in. We called Matt Schaper of New Image Tree Services, 864-949-7962. He says he has performed more than 1,000 cat rescues, mostly from trees. He climbed onto the roof and quickly found out the cat was not ready to be rescued. After chasing around for awhile, he finally cornered the kitty in a gutter and grabbed it. But then -- things did not go quite as planned!
Click on "play" on the video tab to see Chris Cato's story on what happened during the cat rescue.