RUPERT - Cats truly do have nine lives.
Just ask Debra Norman who watched as tree trimmer Scott Yates, of Burley, rescued her son Steven’s three-month old kitten, Ginger, from atop a 60-foot pine tree Friday morning . Apparently chased by a dog, the frightened kitten kept running until it rested atop the tree for at least a day.
The saga began after Debra and her husband, Ray, returned from Boise and discovered Ginger in the tree on their family farm north of Rupert. The family recently rescued the kitten from the possible death penalty on another farm overrun by cats.
“She was up there crying and crying. There was a great big giant owl 10 times bigger stepping up close to where the kitty was. The owl could have eaten the kitty. There was a lot of trauma here,” Debra said.
The couple called local emergency responders, electric and telephone companies to no avail. Eventually, they called Burley tree trimmer Scott Yates who owns Tree Trouble. Yates immediately headed to the Norman farm.
“It was the Lord’s cat, and somebody had to get him down. Haven’t you ever felt like a cat and got yourself in a position where you felt like you could use a hand?” he asked.
Yates spent about a half an hour fetching the kitten.
“That cat was two feet from the top of the tree. He was afraid to come down. I was very surprised. He was up there way high. Our truck goes 65 feet high. I had only five more feet, and he would have been out of my reach. He was an elevated cat,” he said.
It took a few minutes for the cat to warm up to Yates.
“He was a little skeptical at first, but he was ready to leave. I picked him up off the branch,” he said.
As soon as Yates and the cat hit the ground, Ginger raced into the house to get something to eat.
The Normans offered to pay Yates, but he declined.
“Most of the tree projects involve people who are in control. They weren’t making money on it. It’s no big deal,” Yates said.
Yet, it proved a big deal to the Norman family.
“I know it costs a lot of money to drive those trucks. I said ‘Let us give you gas money.’ He said ‘no, the Lord will bless me 10 times.’ The Lord will bless him,” said Norman, who added, “I want to thank him for being such a good guy. There’s nobody like that anymore.”
As for Ginger, the family’s not sure how many other times she’s escaped the gallows.
“I was just trying to help out one of God’s creatures that was in a bind. It wasn’t a problem,” he said.