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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gus the cat causes a commotion in Olomana

By Leslie Kawamoto

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Gus rested at the Cozy Cat Lodge after his ordeal. After he got home, he spent hours in the closet, his owner said.

Photos courtesy of Jan Schmidt

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Outside the Cozy Cat Lodge, fire companies placed a ladder next to the coconut tree to get the stranded cat.

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This cat story sounds like it could be the plot of a black-and-white TV show like "The Andy Griffith Show" or "Leave it to Beaver."

Gus is is a very lucky cat. He was saved by not just one, but two fire companies after he found himself stuck up at the top of a 35-foot coconut tree outside the Cozy Cat Lodge in Olomana last Friday.

Bill and Jan Schmidt own the Cozy Cat Lodge, and that Friday afternoon, Bill was outside checking in a new boarder when he heard a soft meow. The meow came from the top of a coconut tree, as Bill discovered when he looked up and saw a stranded kitty.

Bill went to the Olomana fire station for help. Fifteen minutes later, the first fire truck arrived. To add to the drama, once the ladder was extended, it wasn't long enough! The Kailua fire station was then called to assist and a second ladder truck arrived a few moments later.

"The neighbors began to gather all around, wondering if there was a fire, or if someone had had a heart attack. What could be so deserving of two fire trucks?" Jan said.

The Kailua fire station sent its newest rookie up the ladder to rescue the cat, who was brought down quickly and put in a pet carrier for safety. The cheering crowd clapped with appreciation after seeing such a heartwarming act.

After the heroic rescue, the terrified kitty was turned over to the Cozy Cat Lodge for safekeeping until the cat's owner could be found.

After all the excitement, Jan recognized the cat as Gus, a neighborhood cat, whose owners live near the Schmidt's lodge. "We think he was up in the tree for about 32 hours. There were two vicious dogs running loose and Gus was probably chased up the tree. Since the coconut tree doesn't have any branches, there was no way for Gus to get down," Jan said.

Gus has been keeping a low profile since his ordeal. The Schmidts have not seen him on his neighborhood rounds. His owner said that after returning home, Gus stayed in the closet for a 16 hours because he was so traumatized.

However, all bets are on that he'll be back outside soon, since Gus is very sociable and loves to visit his neighbors.

Let's give a very special mahalo to the Honolulu Fire Department! They are heroes in every way!

Animal lover Leslie Kawamoto has been with the Advertiser for 20 years, or 140 in dog years. Check out her blog at http://islandtails.honadvblogs.com.