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Hal entered Debbi and Michael Strauss’ yard before the storm on Saturday, February 2016. They noticed their two dogs sitting under a tree looking up. On Sunday, the dogs sat under the same tree. Monday morning found them in the same spot doing the same thing. This time, Mike went out and looked up. Hal was sitting on a stub of a branch; he didn’t move. They called the police, then the fire department. Monday night the fire department came with their hook and ladder, but Hal got so scared he climbed another 50 feet up the tree.

On Tuesday night, Mike heard Hal crying. He hadn’t been down in 4 days, with nothing to eat or drink, and limited sleep. Completely frustrated and terribly worried, Mike read that some cats are “frozen” in trees because to descend they have to climb down backwards. Having called animal control, they assured Mike that he’d eventually come down – but Mike wasn’t going to wait. He found Joe at the Autumn Tree Service in Emerson. Joe hoisted himself holding a small cat carrier. He made his way to Hal, and after 25 minutes, he was able to bring him down.

Mike made many calls to rescue groups to find more help for Hal. But none could help. Then he called Caring About The Strays in NJ (C.A.T.S.) As soon as they heard that Hal had been in a tree during the blizzard they did not hesitate to help. C.A.T.S. asked Mike if he could bring the cat to Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital for medical help. Hal was examined, medically treated, and neutered. The Strauss’ asked us to name him Hal in memory of a grandfather. He was then picked up by C.A.T.S. foster Susan Franco and her daughter Lauren.

How he made it through a blizzard, 25 inches of snow, and over 4 days up a tree is amazing; he’s got a will to survive. Hal needs a forever home of his own where someone very special who will care for him the rest of his life.

Caring About The Strays
Westwood, NJ

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