What started out to be a routine day became a very stressful, dramatic day for 1 cat called Blaze, as well as his owner & family, caring residents and… and some of the PetitsPawz team.
Blaze an 8 month old cat was on his way to the vet’s to get his vaccination. A mild kitty, Blaze is an indoor cat and this was his first outing, and he seemed safe and sound in his carrier. Somehow Blaze worked his way out of his carrier near Grand & Sherbrooke in NDG. Exposed to busy traffic, Blaze shot up the first tree he could find. The problem was that not only was Blaze in the tree, he was at least 60 feet up and terrified. The branches at the top of the tree were rotting and brittle, so Blaze was not on solid footing.
Blaze’s owner Tammy Cadieux, her sister Tania and Tammy’s boyfriend Joey, were beside themselves and decided to call whoever they could for help. They went across Sherbrooke street to the pet supply store Bailey Blu, where Natalie Gore and Alexandra Duquette-Fuller were carrying out their morning. Eager to help, the team decided to call the fire department, where the dispatcher chuckled and said “We have better things to do”. The police were equally dismissive, as were companies and utilities such as Bell Canada, Hydro, etc… do to “liability reasons of course”. They then decided to call organizations that exist for the “welfare of our animals in need”, so they called the SPCA, only to be told… “Sorry we have no ladders”, ok then! Moving on to the Berger Blanc, they were told “We do not rescue cats from trees”. They did at least offer a nugget of advice to be careful in trying to rescue the cat, as it could fall and Sherbrooke is a busy street. They said the cat may choose to come down on it’s own. Desperate, the group called tree trimmers and there was the possibility of one coming to help, but this was not certain.
Natalie from Bailey Blu explains, “This is an indoor cat who was on his way home from the vet and escaped from his cage, got scared and darted up the tree.”.
“As you can see from the video, NO ONE would help. I can only hope that should this ever happen again, the cat/owner in question would be lucky enough to have so many bystander citizens on hand to take their own time, come down and rally around and find a solution, because the firemen, hydro, bell, police, SPCA, Berger Blanc, city of Montreal, all said they were too busy, didn’t have the time, or it wasn’t their responsibility to help”.
I decided to go and see what (if anything) I could do. Patricia, Danka and I (part of the PetitsPawz team) headed out there and I was shocked to see Blaze balancing delicately on the top of the tree, on little skinny branches that were swaying from side to side. Large black crows that were nearly as large as Blaze were hovering and squawking at him angrily.
It was apparent to me that Blaze would not come down on his own, and if he tried, the outcome would not be good. The only way this cat would come down was if he fell out of the tree, got too weak after days of being up there or if he was rescued.
I decided to try the Fire Department in hopes that calling from an animal refuge, they may decide to help. Who was I kidding… the woman said to me almost the same words as in the previous call… “We have other things to do”.
We flagged down a police car in hopes that they could steer us in the right direction. We were flabbergasted to hear them laugh hysterically as they eyed the cat in the tree, over 60ft high. One of them said “I’ll help, I’ll fire my gun… that’ll scare the cat and he’ll fall from the tree, hahaha. The other one retorted with “Leave him there… after a few days he’ll fall out of it”. After sharing my thoughts of what I thought of them, we moved on in desparation.
We flagged and called hydro and other companies with tall ladders with no luck due to liability issues. Finally a tree trimmer came to the rescue… though this was not the ideal solution. The tree trimmer had to climb and break branches causing the cat to panic. At this point there were not many options.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGyzoTmPsAk[/youtube]
Paul Morin, a certified tree trimmer and experienced animal/tree rescuer stepped up to the plate and went up the tree to try to rescue Blaze. Blaze became very scared and the branches were very brittle. Blaze tried to jump and ended up free falling over 60 feet. Joey stepped forward to try to block the fall. Thankfully, Blaze, though he fell to the ground, his head hit Joey’s leg, which lessened the impact. He then ran across Sherbrooke street, where thankfully we captured him and brought him to the vet. Amazingly (partly due to the buffering of the fall by Joey), Blaze did not suffer any injuries. He was kept over night at Dr. Plasse’s and given oxygen to help him breathe easier. His owner, Tammy, brought him home the next day and he got lots of love and affection and new cat nip toys.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uvX8Ua-jY4[/youtube]ffd
An update from Tania, Blaze’s owner’s sister, ” Blaze is home safe and sound with my sister thanks to three amazing ladies, they truly went above and beyond to help us, rushing him to the vet minutes after the fall. We are super lucky that hes’s ok. It is super important to get the word out on this so that this doesnt ever happen to anyone elses baby.”
Yes, the outcome was good but don’t we pay taxes??? When our pets need help, are they so unimportant that they don’t deserve to be helped. Once again, I am sooooo disgusted with the way animals are treated here in Quebec. On top of that, there were people willing to risk their own safety to help the cat. What if they fell out of the tree? Would that have changed anything?
Would the cat have fallen out of the tree if proper help was given? Maybe…but with proper equipment, such as ladders, materials to help stop the fall etc… this would be far more unlikely and the drama would have ended much earlier.
Someone may read this and think this is just a cat and the cat is now safe… fact is… this 1 incident accurately represents how Quebec treats our animals in general…whether puppy mills, animal control procedures, lack of punishment for animal abusers, or simply helping out an animal in need…Quebec is one of the worst for animal welfare & protection. Don’t see it changing anytime soon.