For five days, in the scorching heat of mid-summer, a kitten found itself stuck at the top of a 15 meter tall Cypress tree, without food and water and with no way down. After several days during which residents of the Yad Eliyahu neighborhood in Tel-Aviv heard the meowing of a cat, the mystery was revealed – the cat was perched at the top of a cypress tree on 25 Margolin Street. A neighborhood resident, who contacted the Tel-Aviv Municipality and the Veterinary Department, was told that they do not deal with these types of cases, although the law states that municipalities are responsible for animals found within its jurisdiction. The same resident called the SPCA Israel's emergency hotline and reported on the miserable and terrified cat who was constantly mewling.
Eyal Gatniv, a rescuer with the SPCA Israel, rushed to the location. Once he realized that a ladder was needed to rescue the animal, he called the fire department, which sent a team with a 4 meter ladder.
The firefighters, who claimed that "Tel-Aviv did not have such a tall ladder", tried to use the water hose to spray in the direction of the cat and left the site the same as they came. Gatniv then called the Electric Company, which claimed that their lift vehicle was on call. A private company, contacted by the SPCA Israel for the rescue of the cat for a fee, could not send a team and promised to help the next morning.
After much hard deliberations that were conducted at 23:00, the decision was made to return the next morning to try to rescue the cat. In the early morning hours, the SPCA Israel team traveled to the site, and after contacting the fire department, a lift truck was sent. The Israeli police also contributed to the effort, blocking off the entrance to the street and finding drivers whose cars were parked on the side of the street so that they could move them to make way for the truck.<
Gatniv climbed on the lift that was raised to the top of the tree. With the help of a grabber with a long mechanical arm, managed to grasp the terrified cat and rescue it from danger before everyone who had since gathered in the environment.
The cat was sent to the SPCA Israel clinic, where it was diagnosed as being a 3-month old kitten that was dehydrated and hungry. The kitten drank and ate but was still stressed. It will stay under close supervision over the next several days until it is ready to be put up for adoption. The SPCA Israel wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the neighborhood resident to contacted the SPCA hotline; to the fire department of Tel-Aviv Municipality that helped in the cat rescue – Moshe Aharon, Yishai Ventura, Shai Bitan and Eli Manoblar, and to the police officers who also took part in the rescue – Hir Aladin Rabia and Gyori Mickey.
It is important to know that due to the number of homeless cats in the city, a number that is steadily increasing due to abandonment and poor care by the authorities, the distress of cats is also increasing. Unfortunately, neither the municipality nor government entities know how to provide a real-time solution to animals in severe distress. It is extremely regrettable that in Israel, and particularly in Tel-Aviv, which prides itself on proper treatment of cats in the city, a cat was stuck for five consecutive days on top of a tree with no one to rescue it.
If you also encounter animals in distress, please do not ignore them and call the SPCA Israel Hotline at 1599-50-2005.