The Cat Whisperer: Officer Has Arms Full During Rescue

Going up wasn't as tough as coming back down for a member of LA's animal rescue team.

The Small Animals Rescue Strike Team was called Tuesday to a large tree in the 2200 block of Bronson Hill Drive. A meowing cat had been stuck in a pine tree since Thursday.

"The owner says the cat has Feline HIV, so it needs its medication," said Officer A.J. Navarrete. "We just got the call last night."

Navarrete and his crew set up their climbing equipment at 9 a.m. A few minutes later, he grabbed the cat and attempted to place it in a mesh bag.

The cat did not cooperate.

He dropped the bag, clutched the squirming furry mass to his chest with both arms and whispered in her ear, "I gotcha, I gotcha, I gotcha."

"I've got her scruff as good as I can get her," Navarette called to his partner, who was about 35 feet below. "I'm going to have no hands free."

"Depend on gravity," his partner called from the ground as she held the other end of the rope.

After checking his equipment, Navarette used his legs and feet to scale down the tree trunk as his team member held tight to the rope.


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