Yesterday, while getting ready to go to the grocery store, I heard frantic meowing. I couldn’t ascertain where it was coming from. It wasn’t any of my brood. I figured it might just be Milo, the neighborhood orange tabby, yelling at a bird or something. It wasn’t.
Leaving on my trek for food, I ran into my neighbor. It was here I first learned about the one I would later dub “Roof Kitty.” Apparently Roof Kitty, real name Slapdash, had been on the roof for at least four days with nightly temperatures below freezing. The common thinking is she climbed a tree, then jumped down off an overhanging branch, afraid to climb back down the tree. Sadly, the branch was not close enough to the roof for her to easily jump back up.
My neighbor, who’d been throwing food up to her, told me the story of Slapdash’s rescue attempts. He called several public service departments, including Dekalb Fire Department and Animal Control. The leasing office to the complex was contacted, as well as the two Dekalb County officers, who also live in the building. One of these officers is the security for the complex. This is important, because at one point they’d built a bridge from a tree to the roof. Slapdash was about to cross it, when the officer came out and told them they had to stop. His reason? They didn’t have “permission to be in the tree.” No one else that had been contacted would help, or offer any other viable solutions.
This is where I entered rescue operations.
Spending most of last evening and half of today on social media, I attempted to get the word out. I posted Roof Kitty’s picture everywhere I could think of on facebook and twitter. Several animal rescue and local news media pages received pictures of Slapdash along with her story. Of all the places I posted, the only organization or their representative that even acknowledged my plea was 11Alive‘s Mike Francis, who retweeted my tweet. Thank you Mr Francis!! I also emailed Ram, the management company that recently purchased my complex. I am sure they had no idea of what was happening in a small local complex that is probably far from their headquarters.
This afternoon, I will admit, I was getting frustrated and angry. Most of the local media let me down. The local animal rescue organizations let me down. It seemed no one was worried about this poor cat that had been stuck on the roof in temperatures below freezing at night for almost a week.
Then, I spoke with Rod at Lifeline Animal Project. He said he would make a call and get back to me shortly. This was at 2:06pm. at 2:44pm, I received a call from Mickie at Lifeline. She was at the gate and needed the code to come in! Finally, some of my faith was restored.
As we were walking the building trying to figure a way to get Slapdash down, a maintenance worker wandered by. We explained what we were doing, and he immediately offered to go get a ladder that would reach the roof. Just as we were wondering whether or not he was coming back, he did, with another maintenance man in tow. I was worried the complex management would stop them if they found out what they were up to. The maintenance workers set up the ladder and one climbed up. Roof Kitty came over, but the stranger scared her. He climbed back down, and Mickie from Lifeline climbed up with a can of food. As Slapdash was eating, Misty grabbed her. The rest, as they say, is history.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone involved, from the people who shared the story of Roof Kitty, to the people that climbed up to get her. We couldn’t have done this without any of you.
I also want everyone to go read this article. Lifeline Animal Project is bidding to take over Fulton County Animal Services from Barking Hound Village Foundation. Upon hearing the news, several citizens contacted the county via electronic and regular (postal, phone) means. Fox 5 Atlanta ran a story on the news the other night. They skewed it to make people think that Lifeline asked the public to send these communications. They did not. If you go to any of their pages (facebook, twitter, etc.), you will find no mention of the bid by Lifeline. Citizens took these actions upon themselves, because Lifeline Animal Project does things like they did today. They got nothing out of this – no publicity, no stories in the media to back their bid, nothing. They did it because they love animals. Shame on Fox Atlanta for the story they wrote, and shame on them for not paying attention to Slapdash’s plight when I contacted them.
Pictures of the rescue: