ANTIOCH -- What goes up doesn't always come down.
An Antioch woman became concerned this week when she spotted a cat stuck near the top of a tree in the backyard of a house across the street.
Firmly ensconced in the branches a good 30 feet above terra firma, the longhair, white-and-marmalade feline had been there for at least three days, according to a next-door neighbor.
She called an animal rescue group, the city and a local fire department, as well as four tree trimming companies without any luck. Cash-strapped fire protection agencies don't do pet rescues anymore, Antioch Animal Services has a policy against employees climbing trees, and the businesses either didn't or wouldn't send someone out. Neighbors tried luring him with tuna with no success.
Postings on the Antioch/Brentwood/Oakley News and East County Times Facebook pages, though, yielded some better results. Two tree trimmers and an electrical contractor offered the use of their man lifts if nothing else worked.
When volunteers from Antioch's Homeless Animals Response Program showed up to assess the situation, however, one of them got on the horn to his gardener.
The man showed up with an extension ladder, and after lopping off a few creaky branches that were in the way, he grabbed the cat.
He maneuvered the squirming animal down the trunk until it decided to make a break for it and free-fell the rest of the way.
The frightened feline immediately streaked off through a hole in the fence, presumably to familiar surroundings and some long overdue food and water.
"They don't usually go that far up," said HARP Executive Director Karen Kops, who watched the rescue.
She surmises that the cat ran up the tree trying to escape some danger and couldn't regain its footing to get down.
"He was pretty well-stationed up there," Kops said. "I don't think he was coming down (on his own). I'm glad we could help."
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.