A 14-week-old kitten, a hessian Bag for Life and a feline friendly tree surgeon may not sound like typical ingredients for a Sunday night thriller.
But for Alana Findlay, the rescue mission to save her beloved cat Aurora after three days stuck 25ft up a tree was heart-stopping.
Alana, who cares for her disabled son in Ellon, had written a post about the imperilled moggy on Facebook, attracting much attention from people in the local area – none of whom had ladders long enough to reach.
But one man had access to exactly the right equipment and stepped in to save the day at the weekend.
Alana, 31, said: “This young guy called Jordan Walker commented saying, ‘Send me your address, my dad’s a tree surgeon’. I said, ‘Wow, thank you very much’.”
Jordan’s stepdad, Mark Paterson, runs Ellon-based business Paterson Land Maintenance.
He said: “Jordan’s nickname is the Cat Whisperer, if there’s ever a cat lost he’s out looking for it. He loves a cat.”
The pair made their way out to Alana’s home, and Mark set up his equipment on the tree – an “old and slippy” one, according to Alana.
He grabbed a Bag for Life and began making his way up.
Alana said: “I asked if he’d ever saved a cat before, and he said no, this was definitely a first.
“When he finally got up she’d moved to the end of the branch, and because he was climbing, the tree was moving.
“Everyone was standing underneath ready to catch her, but obviously if she had fallen I don’t think she would have survived because she was so high up.
“He shuffled his bum along the branch, and she was interested in him so he grabbed her, but then he struggled to get her in the bag because she almost went starfish, just because she was petrified.”
Mark said: “I don’t know how it got up there but it certainly couldn’t get down.
“I had my Bag for Life to put it in, because I’ve never rescued a cat out a tree so I didn’t know what to put it in.
“It turned out this one didn’t have a very big opening, so getting the cat in the bag up a tree was a bit of a fiasco.”
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Eventually Aurora relented, and Mark was able to put the kitten into the bag and lower her down.
Alana said: “If it hadn’t been for him, I honestly don’t know what would have happened, because she was right at the end of the branch and it’s a very high tree.
“I offered him money, and he said no, no, it’s fine.
“They’re superstars, but they were just kind more than anything. You could tell they were animal lovers, the way Mark was speaking to her.”
Mark said: “To me it was second nature to climb up a tree and shimmy along a branch, because I do it a lot. It was just another day up a tree for me.
“I think anyone would have done it if they had the equipment.”
This is not the first time Alana’s family has saved a cat from somewhere it should not have been.
In 2011, her mum Diane Findlay made headlines after driving 17 miles in her car without realising her cat Kenzie was under the bonnet – only finding out after she smelled burning and stopped.
Amazingly, Kenzie is still alive to this day.
“We’re all cat fanatics, you see,” said Alana.