A good animal story

I’m a sucker for an animal story, and there’s a great one in the Duluth News Tribune.

It seems Minnesota Department of Transportation worker Christoper Smith was doing some cleanup on the sidewalk of the two-mile long Bong Memorial Bridge between West Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin, when he heard meowing.

There, some 20 feet beneath the bridge surface, was a cat, stuck on the concrete topping surface of of one of the piers that supports the bridge. There was no way for the cat to get back up, and the alternative would be a fatal leap to ice and water 80 or 90 feet below.

Smith, now with backup from another DOT worker and a Superior Police officer tried lowering a long nylon strap with hopes the cat might climb up, but no going.

Then Smith struck on the winning idea. He rigged up a bag which normally holds his safety harness and baited it with his lunch — a nice, tasty venison sandwich. According to the story, once that treat reached the cat, the very hungry animal leaped right into the bag for the food.

A quick snap on the rope from above closed the bag. Smith bagged the cat and brought it up to safety on the surface.

While I’m not that crazy about cats, I can’t help but be moved by an animal story with a happy ending. The cat is now spending a week in a local animal shelter, and its rescuer is considering adopting the feline if nobody claims it first.

It’s a particularly nice counter to another, much sadder animal story that crept up this last week.

The Ely Timberjay reported last week on a terrible case of abuse on an Ely area farm in which horses, cows, and goats suffered and died with no food or water. A caged dog was not much better off. The person who found the animals could now face trespassing charges.

Man, I didn’t like reading that story. It makes the rescue of one cat that much better.

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