Cat in a hot olive tree
DOUG HALL RESCUES VICTOR, a black-and-white resident of the Sonoma Pet Center in the Marketplace from atop an olive tree after the frightened feline had been chased up the tree by a pair of dogs.
Victor, a black-and-white resident of the Sonoma Pet Center in the Marketplace, had just stepped outside for some fresh air at about 11 a.m. Sunday when two dogs, dragging their leash, lunged at him and chased him up a tree.
The young man in charge of the dogs gathered them up and departed in haste, witnesses said, but Victor went up the highest branch of the large olive tree near the center's gazebo and refused to come down.
After trying everything she could to coax the portly puss out of the branches, store employee Bergen Verdu went across the street to the fire station, but was told retrieving cats involved too much liability.
What we need, said Verdu hours later, with Victor still aloft, "is a local hero."
Within minutes, Doug Hall showed up with Dan Velarde and a long ladder. Hall, a regular at the pet center, went almost 20 feet up the ladder while Velarde and another man stabilized it, and was finally able to hoist the 18-pound Victor into his arms.
After the rescue, Verdu said Victor had lost a number of claws in his frantic climb and probably couldn't have descended.
Firefighters did stop by a little later, only to learn that Victor had been retrieved.
Hall, who is 59-years-old but climbed the ladder with aplomb, explained that, "I'm an animal person. Snakes and cats are my favorite animals."