A brown kitty with bright orange eyes is in need of a home after being rescued from high in a tree early Sunday morning.
Oakie, as the cat is now called, had been stuck 35 feet up an oak tree near the Eastgate Apartments complex, southeast of Kellogg and Rock, for five days.
The Wichita Animal Action League, a local animal rescue group, got Oakie out of the tree using a plastic laundry basket – and a little bit of teamwork.
“It was kind of a chain of people holding onto each others’ pants so we could reach out over the roof with this basket,” said Sarah Coffman, executive director of the group.
A woman driving by the apartment complex first noticed Oakie stuck up in the tree last Tuesday, and began to call friends to see if anyone could help the feline.
She had no luck, so she started posting pleas on Facebook and calling the Wichita Fire Department.
Fire department crews on Saturday said they could not rescue the cat, because using the ladder would be a lightning risk, Coffman said. Then on Sunday, Coffman said the crews said their ladder could not reach as high as Oakie was perched.
Early Sunday, a resident of the apartment complex rigged his plastic laundry basket onto the end of a pole used to clean the apartment complex’s swimming pool, she said.
Three people stood on the roof of the complex and were able to coax the cat into the basket using a bit of cat food as bait, Coffman said.
“Definitely don’t try to do that on your own if you find a cat stuck in a tree,” she said. “It’s definitely not the safest thing on Earth.”
Coffman said it is likely that Oakie is either a stray cat, or that he was left behind when someone moved out of their apartment. People had reported seeing him wandering the complex’s grounds for the past few weeks, she said.
“He had no collar and he was not microchipped,” she said. “He’s a super-friendly boy. He just purrs and purrs and rubs against you. He’s very affectionate.”
Oakie has been neutered and vaccinated.
The Wichita Animal Action League is looking for a foster home for Oakie until he can be adopted. The group will pay for her veterinary and food expenses in return for someone providing a home until the cat is adopted, Coffman said.
If you are interested in either providing a foster home for Oakie or in adopting him, fill out an application on the Wichita Animal Action League’s website, www.waalrescue.org.