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After a scary cat-and-mouse game 75 feet above the ground, a brown tabby was returned to terra firma this morning in Slidell, Louisiana. The 45-minute rescue operation was purrformed by Ron Hastings, a tree service owner, and Beau Gast, an investigator with the Humane Society of Louisiana. The cat had been stuck in the upper reaches of the pine tree for the last week

It wasn’t an easy rescue. Hastings geared up and climbed to the area of the tree in which the cat was perched, but the tabby didn’t make it easy for him.

“The closer I got to him, the farther out he would go until there was no place else to go unless he would jump,” Hastings said. “And I was hoping he wouldn’t try that.”

The cat scaled the highest reaches of the pine until he ran out of tree.

“I had to stand on a limb that was about an inch around to reach him, there wasn’t any place to go for him or me,” he said. The cat was too far out to grab but Hastings collared the cat with a catch pole and deposited him safely inside a kennel.

Doctors at Lakeshore Veterinary Hospital and Pet Lodge are now caring for the cat (right), who was in good shape despite his ordeal, suffering only from dehydration.

Area residents had first noticed the cat’s predicament more than a week ago, but no one could reach the cat so high in the tree. Gast and Hastings, who owns Angel Oaks Tree service, saw a media report on the Monday night and decided to attempt a rescue.

The cat is docile but is not chipped and was not wearing tags. The Humane Society hopes to find his owner. If they can’t, he’ll be put up for adoption. If you’re interested in giving him a home, call (888) 648-6263.

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[LINKS: WWLTV.com, NOLA.com]

[PHOTOS: 1) WWLTV.com; 2) Scott Threlkeld/The Times-Picayune]

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