Tree Service Owner by Day, Kitty Superhero by Night


When Jesse Cunningham of Torrington, Connecticut, heard his dog barking, he took a look out of his second-floor window to see what all the ruckus was about. He saw a cat sitting in the tree outside, but at the time he didn’t think much of it.

After all, we’ve all heard that old saw, “You never see a dead cat in a tree.”

But Cunningham is a decent human being, so he wanted to do something to help. He found a piece of gutter and slid it from the windowsill to the tree, hoping the cat would take advantage of the makeshift bridge. No dice.

By the third day, it was obvious that the cat wasn’t going to be able to come down on her own, so he called the Torrington Police Department’s animal control unit in search of help for the frightened feline.

Neither animal control nor the local fire department could help. Power lines made it too dangerous for fire department access, and animal control didn’t have the training or equipment to pull cats out of trees.

Somewhere along the way, Cunningham heard of a guy named David Waugh, a tree service operator by day and volunteer cat rescuer by night. Waugh was called in to save the day, and save the day he did. He got the cat on his second try and got her down the tree probably less than an hour after he arrived.

Waugh says he does about 100 cat rescues a year all over Litchfield County, free of charge.

Why? "I do it because I love animals," he told the Register-Citizen newspaper. "It’s something I can do for the community. Sometimes local rescue personnel simply can’t get to an animal. I usually can."

The cat is fine. Animal Control took the cat into its care and she was treated for dehydration.

If the cat has a caretaker, I hope that person will realize that the safest place for Kitty to be is inside, where she can climb on her cat tree all she wants and not risk life and limb by getting stuck almost 70 feet in the air.

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