Savanah Dale never expected her day to end with a new baby in her arms. But that’s exactly what happened two days ago.
The 17-year-old resident of Chico, Calif., and her neighbors Melinda Couch and Couch’s two children, spotted a tiny tabby kitten about 20 feet up an oak tree.
Dale called city officials to report the kitten’s plight, and they referred her to Chico Animal Control. Officers responded, but they didn’t do anything except to tell the teenager that the cat was probably feral and would come down on its own.
I’ve written about a few of these cat rescue stories, and it seems like there’s always somebody in authority who refuses to assist and says, with a laugh, “You never see a dead cat in a tree, so just leave him alone.”
If this was Dale’s first encounter with bureaucracy, I can imagine how frustrating it must have been, trying to help this poor, tiny creature and more or less getting brushed off.
But she didn’t give up. She called a local TV station, where staff referred her to a local tree service that might be able to rescue the kitten.
Marc Wesley, the owner of M&S Wesley Tree Service, had rescued three other cats in the last year or so, and he knew what to do. He came to the scene with a boom and basket, ready to bring the frightened feline back to the ground. Unfortunately, when he climbed the tree and began to approach, the cat moved away and disappeared into the branches.
Dale and the Couch family stayed under the tree until about 2 p.m., hoping the kitten would come down. But when they next saw him, he was even higher in the tree than he was before.
Then he slipped.
And fell 50 feet to the ground.
Dale quickly swooped up the stunned cat and rushed him to a veterinarian, where he was pronounced healthy and likely to make a very quick recovery from his trauma.
In the course of her hours-long attempt to help the kitten, Dale discovered she’d fallen in love with the fuzzy brown tabby, who is estimated to be 4 or 5 weeks old. She even gave him a name: Joaquin.
I don’t know whether Dale officially adopted the cute little guy — there’s no mention of it in the news article — but if it were me, there’d be no question: Joaquin would be a new member of my family.
If you want to see a picture of the kitten (who is just about as cute as can be) and the kind and caring girl who kept a vigil over him, go check out the original story.