It apparently takes a village to rescue cats trapped on a roof during some of the coldest days of the year.
Last week, Methuen Animal Control Officer Renee Falardeau, Methuen Fire Department, Sheehan’s Towing, Lawrence Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany, New Bedford Animal Control Officer Manny Maciel and Andrew Joslin’s Tree Service tried several techniques beginning last Wednesday and ending with success on Saturday.
“A trap was placed on the roof with some creativity of the team in an attempt to capture these cold, hungry, and scared cats one by one,” a Methuen Police accounting of one of the rescue attempts read. “The team watched as one of the cats entered the trap. As they held their breath in anticipation, the cat set off the trap and narrowly escaped back onto the roof. They were so close to saving one of the cats. While this was disappointing, they did not let that deter them and continued the rescue operation.”
Methuen Fire Department began rescue efforts first, but was initially unsuccessful. Falardeau learned from the owner of two of the cats that the third possibly chased the others up a tree and onto the roof. There was no access to the roof through any windows, crawlspace or vents, the report noted.
Next, the owner of Sheehan’s Towing along with his staff worked with the property owner and used a ladder to get to the roof devised a metal ramp system for the cats to climb down. After several hours, however, the cats refused to budge even with a buffet of food awaiting them.
Falardeau and Bistany then contacted several tree and roofing companies and rescue groups. With Maciel’s help, a trap was placed on the roof in an attempt to, in the words of police, “capture these cold, hungry and scared cats one by one.” The trap didn’t work, but one of the cats jumped to a tree as helpers pushed nets up from a second-floor porch. That cat was lured down, but he ran off.
Andrew Joslin next donated his time and services to help the remaining cats that had now been on the roof for five days. He climbed up a tree and onto the roof with a net. One of the two remaining cats also jumped into a tree and worked its way down branch by branch. That cat evaded the nets and ran off unharmed.
Joslin lowered his net again, causing the last cat to leap into the tree, but the animal was gently pulled into a net and safely captured and reunited with his family.
In the end, it wasn’t a proverbial cat on a hot tin roof, but rather three on a very cold asphalt roof.