LOXLEY, Ala. (WALA) -- It’s said cats have nine lives and if that’s true, one lucky feline from Baldwin Cunty may have just used a couple of them up. It’s a story about a red cat, a green machine, and a very unusual rescue.
Marzapan, the cat (he goes by Marz for short) lives in Loxley and is new to the area. His owners recently moved in with family and as you might expect, he wanted to explore his new surroundings. He got out of the house Sunday, January 9, 2022 and did just that. He didn’t come back, and it wasn’t until Monday evening, his owner heard a faint meow and saw him up a neighbor’s tree.
“We followed the meowing and saw that Marz was up a tree in the worst possible place that he could be with dogs below him, so he didn’t want to come down,” explained the cat’s owner April Lantz.
It was a predicament. Marz spent another cold night up the enormous popcorn tree while Lantz searched for a solution. The fire department looked but couldn’t help. That’s when she began calling tree service companies and reached Gatlin Bertolla. He had just the answer in his Big Green Tree Machine.
“I can reach ninety-six feet in the air, safely grab ahold of the trunk of the tree and cut it and lower it down safely,” Bertolla said.
To his knowledge, it would be a first of its kind rescue. The cat and the tree would come down together. Marz just needed to stay calm and hang on for the ride. With permission from the neighbor to cut down the popcorn tree, the Big Green Tree Machine went to work. The tree was cut, and slowly lowered to the ground.
“As the tree is coming down, we’re calling out to Marz. Hang on Marz. Just hang in there,” Lantz recalled.
Marz seemed to understand and followed the plan until safely back on the ground, soon to be reunited with his grateful owners.
“If it wasn’t for him, my cat would probably still be stuck in a tree and I would be very upset,” a gracious Lantz said.
Bertolla and his Big Green Tree Machine will have a hard time finding a more meaningful job than this one.
“It’s crazy to think about it, you know, looking back but eventually, the cat probably would have come down, but the homeowner actually wanted that tree removed and being invasive, I think it was a win-win for both parties,” Bertolla said.
Bertolla removed both the cat and the tree at no charge to either party.