A MISSING kitten which got stuck in a tree – and the man who tried to rescue it – both had to be rescued by fire and rescue crews.
Tom the kitten, which belonged to Caprera residential home in Truro Road, St Austell, went missing on November 5. Worried staff distributed leaflets across town in a bid to find him and feared he'd been "pinched".
But four days later, a woman living nearby told the care home she had heard "meowing" coming from a giant pine tree in the care home's grounds.
Tom was lodged 20 metres up, so heroic 22-year-old care home maintenance man Nathan Kent got out a five-metre ladder and climbed up the rest of the way to the top of the tree.
"I climbed and climbed but to get down with the kitten in one arm was not safe at all," said Mr Kent, from Fowey.
"I think it had been stuck up there for four days. The poor thing was starving and shaking.
"It was so distressed and was trying to grab the branches on the way down. It was scared and was clawing the hell out of anything. I was covered in scratches the next day."
Mr Kent climbed down the tree to get the kitten to a safe point but said it was unsafe to bring the kitten any further, so staff at the home called St Austell firefighters in for the rescue.
One of the firefighters, Andy Reynolds, said the crew climbed a ladder and cut branches down until they could reach the stricken duo.
Tom was lowered down by rope in a bag and the young rescuer was given a fire helmet before being assisted down the ladder.
Mr Reynolds said: "Nathan showed a great deal of courage climbing high into the tree to rescue Tom with little regard for his own safety.
"But whilst we recognise it can be very distressing to see a pet trapped or in danger we urge people not to endanger themselves attempting a rescue themselves.
"If your cat is stuck in a tree you should call the RSPCA in the first instance and never jeopardise your own safety. Cats will almost always find their own way down when they get hungry."
Miss Jurczak said the fire fighters "did a great job".
The care home said it got Tom and his brother Jerry a few months ago to entertain the residents.