An Indiana teenager has regretted his decision to climb a 35ft tree to try and save a cat after he got stuck with no way down.
The Miami Herald reports that a 17-year-old, identified only as Owen, had to be rescued by firefighters after climbing the tree at Holliday Park on Spring Mill Road in Indianapolis in an attempt to help a tabby cat.
Firefighters were called to the scene around 4:37 p.m. on Saturday March 5.
According to a statement posted on Facebook by the Indianapolis Fire Department, Owen told firefighters on scene that he was “trying to do a good deed” after spotting the stranded animal.
“Although Owen had no trouble climbing the tree, his positioning did not allow for the same ease of descending,” they explained.
The Indianapolis Fire Department said a fire truck and a “rope rescue team” were called in to help bring Owen down after crews discovered they were unable to rescue him. using an aerial ladder due to too soft ground and concerns about potential motor blockage.
The Miami Herald estimates that up to a dozen people were deployed as part of the rescue, which was watched by several onlookers on the ground. Owen was finally helped down at 6:36 p.m. and the entire rescue operation took about an hour.
He was then examined by an EMS doctor before being released with his parents’ approval.
“Apart from a few scratches, he was perfectly fine,” the Indianapolis Fire Department said. “The cat seemed to enjoy the commotion but literally made no effort to get down from the tree.”
Commenting on the post, Abi Moore said the incident was “further proof that cats are jerks”, adding “lovable, charming, undeniable jerks”.
Others like Alison Donick were full of praise for the efforts of everyone involved, commenting, “Great job Indianapolis Fire Department! Great job Owen on a tryout beyond expectation. Damn cat. “
However, some, like Bob Burr, criticized the teenager’s actions. “Noble gesture, but they end up falling on their own…a waste of the city’s resources,” he said.
Elizabeth Renee added: “I don’t blame the child. Generations of us have been programmed by television to think that a cat in a tree might be an emergency and in need of rescue.”
Newsweek contacted the Indianapolis Fire Department for comment.
The incident comes just a week after another cat rescue involving firefighters went viral for all the wrong reasons after the feline ended up falling to the ground at full force, missing the safety blanket in the process.
In another case, firefighters were forced to cut through the frame of a couch to save a trapped kitten.
Meanwhile, in England, a firefighter has been praised after saving a cat’s life using special resuscitation equipment following a house fire.