Cat Owner Needs to be Rescued by the Fire Department

Emmitt the cat is safe at home in Dover, New Hampshire, after a month-long odyssey that ended with both he and his owner, John Coslett, 30 feet up a towering tree waiting for a fire department rescue.

Emmitt escaped through the back door of his home a month ago. The Cosletts papered the area with missing cat flyers and posted a Craigs List ad. After several fruitless weeks of searching, a break came when a woman saw a poster of Emmitt in a supermarket in Rochester. Turns out, she’d been feeding the cat behind an auto body shop, but didn’t know he was missing.

After that, Coslett was confident that Emmitt was on his way home, and that he would find him in the woods behind his house.

Early one evening a few days later, Coslett was in the woods behind his house checking the Havahart Trap he set for Emmitt when he heard Emmitts cry.

“I heard him and called his name and then I heard him meowing again and it sounded like he was in the tree,” Coslett said. “I saw the branch move and could see him, so I just kept climbing the tree until I got him and before I knew it, I couldn’t climb down.”

About 30 feet up, Coslett was able to grab Emmitt, but unable to descend from the tree. Clutching Emmitt with one arm and holding on for dear life with the other, he called for help, and his family called the Fire Department.

Several trucks descended on the scene, but had to clear a way through the woods with chainsaws before they could get to Coslett, according to Capt. James Ormond. Once a path was cleared, they raised a 35-foot ladder to Coslett and Emmitt. Emmitt was lowered first, in a fire engine red pillowcase. Coslett was harnessed and belayed to earth. Aside from being tired and cold, Coslett was none the worse for wear. Emmitt was happy in the arms of family members.

If he had it to do over again, would Coslett be as quick to put himself in jeopardy? “I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” Coslett said. “Emmitt is part of the family.”