A 27-year-old man died Wednesday afternoon when he fell 35 to 40 feet from a tree while trying to rescue his neighbor’s cat, according to the Orange Fire Department.
Scott Buehler, who was wearing a helmet and a backpack, fell as he reached out for the cat, the fire department said. Animal Care Services was on its way.
Leslie Meader of Animal Care Services said the cat fell to the ground with Buehler. The cat was taken back to the animal care facility in Orange and treated for minor injuries before being returned to its owner about 5:00 p.m.
The cat’s owner first called the fire department, which told her to call animal control.
The fire department does not respond to cat-in-tree calls because of safety concerns and because it takes a unit out of service, Fire Capt. Ian MacDonald wrote in an e-mail.
“Do not climb a tree to rescue a cat,” he said. “It will come down on its own, and you won’t have to take a risk to your own safety.”