Jacksonville man saves "pet" bobcat stuck in 80-foot tree
UPDATED: 6:43 pm EST December 11, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Arlington family’s fears were eased on Monday after a man rescued their pet bobcat, who got himself stuck in a tree a week ago and would not come down.
The cat’s owner, Julie Johnson, said she was concerned that with recent freezing temperatures and no food or water, the cat’s life may have been in danger.
“My kitty, Duma — he’s a 7-month-old bobcat — climbed up the tree Dec. 4, last Monday, and he’s been up there ever since,” Johnson said.
Duma climbed all the way to the highest point of an oak tree and was hanging on for dear life as a branch swayed in the breeze about 80 feet above the ground.
For seven days, Johnson stood in her back yard calling up to her stranded cat. And for seven days, Duma’s bowl of food was untouched.
After a week, a man came to the stranded feline’s aid. Al Pope, a construction worker, said he heard about the stranded pet and decided to help.
He knew it was going to be a challenge but said the challenge was something he was going to try.
Using a few simple tools and a big heart, Pope went to work. More than an hour later, he lowered a gym bag with Duma inside.
Johnson told Channel 4 all she could do was express thanks.
“There are people in the world that will help you, take the chance of risking their life to get a kitty cat out of the top of a tall oak tree,” Johnson said. “I’m just glad he’s down and safe.”
After he was brought down, Johnson took Duma to an area veterinarian to get checked out.
As for Pope, the humble hero chose not to speak at length about the rescue. He said his reasoning was very simple, “No special reason. Just to help them out.”