RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) – It’s the ultimate movie cliché — a cat stuck in a tree. While in movies you may call firefighters to get your furry friend down, often times, emergency services are too busy to respond to those calls. But if you’re in Vermont, you’re in luck. There’s someone else who wants.
One Chittenden County man has the equipment and know-how to help get kitties stuck up in trees back on the ground. He’s decided to use his spare time to help out people and cats in need, and so far the results have been paw-some.
Richmond’s Judson Kimble is just the man that kitties stuck up in trees are looking for.
“I’m a recreational tree climber and do a little bit of part-time tree work. Just love climbing and love cats,” Kimble said.
As it turns out, there’s a fairly large community of people online just like him. After watching hours of tree-climbing cat rescue videos, Kimble realized he may be able to help — with a little purr-suasion.
“I mean, getting up into the tree is one component and then being able to handle the cat is another,” he said.
With a few years of tree climbing under his belt and thousands of dollars of equipment, Kimble has launched Kitty Climber Cat Rescue of Northern Vermont. It’s all in the name of helping out what he says is his favorite animal.
“They purr, I really like the purring, unconditional love… but I don’t know, I like how independent they are,” Kimble said.
Kimble says he’s usually just a phone call or text away from helping kitties get their tiny feet back on the ground. He services about an hour radius around Burlington and only needs pictures to help decide which equipment to bring.
“Helmet for protection. This is an arborist climbing saddle harness,” he explained. “I use this arborist sling shot for launching a bean bag with a string attached high up into the tree, and then I connect my rope to that.”
Then, he attaches a GoPro to his helmet and gets to work.
So far, he’s been called seven times. Some cats have been as high up as 50 feet off the ground. Three of those cats got out of the tree without him, while four were successfully brought down — a breath of fresh air for kitties and their owners, and a little bit of fun for Kimble.
“I climb weekly, whether or not there’s a cat stuck in the tree so… right now I’m doing about 1 rescue a week and it’s great.” He’s saving frightened felines from what could be a cat-astrophe.
All of Kimble’s rescues are donation based. He says any money he does get will go right to gas and into his equipment.
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