Birmingham, AL—A unit from the Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service Department was dispatched Wednesday morning to a residence on Druid Hill Drive after getting a call about a cat who was too fat to climb a tree.
The call was placed at approximately 8:14 a.m. by Trisha Watts, a neighbor who saw the cat in a neighbor’s yard.
Watts spoke with the Post about the incident.
“I was out watering my garden, and I looked over in the next yard and saw the poor thing,” Watts said, referring to the orange tom cat. “He reared up and jumped at the tree like he was about to sprint up it, but he just clung there at the base of the tree for several seconds before getting back down.”
Watts decided to call after seeing that display.
“I knew Marsha, my next-door neighbor, had already left for work, so she wasn’t going to see this going on. The cat isn’t hers—she’s allergic—but the tree is in her yard, so I figured it was the right thing to do to go ahead and call.”
The tom cat, Knuckles, lives a few houses down. This was his first time roaming outdoors.
“Oh yeah, bud, I ran out the back door when the broad took the trash out this morning,” he told a reporter. “I decided to go see the neighborhood up close for once, and here I see this honkin’ tree, and I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m a cat, I better climb this thing.’ Easier said than done, I guess.”
Over the next several minutes, Knuckles tried unsuccessfully to climb the tree, but his bulk just wouldn’t allow it. That was when the fire truck showed up.
“I was like, ‘AH, people,’ and ran away real fast,” Knuckles said.
Watts remembers it differently.
“He sort of hobbled away when the fire truck came, but he didn’t get very far. Then he tried to fit through the lattice under Marsha’s porch, but he got stuck. Poor little toadstool.”
A fireman carefully freed Knuckles from the lattice, then boarded a ladder which was raised into the tree. The fireman set Knuckles on a branch before taking the ladder back down.
“It’s always good to be able to serve the community, even in small things like this,” the fireman stated. “Seeing that guy up in that tree is my daily reminder that my job makes a difference.”
At press time, a fire truck had been dispatched back to the tree because Knuckles was unable to get down.