When cats are stuck in a tree, Ross Wilkinson gets them down as a volunteer arborist. (Pixabay photo)

Victoria man moonlights as cat rescuer

Ross Wilkinson is an arborist who uses his skills to get cats down from trees

Not all heroes wear capes – some wear helmets and gloves.

Ross Wilkinson is an arborist and tree risk assessor, but that’s only his day job. In his spare time, he uses his skills to rescue cats from trees across Greater Victoria.

“I’ve always had cats growing up, and people would always phone the office and ask for help and I’d say yes,” Wilkinson said. “I just enjoy doing it, being a cat person.”

Wilkinson said he doesn’t ask for payment for the job and is just happy to see people reunited with their furry family members.

ALSO READ: Leash your cat or face a $150 fine in Victoria

When cats get stuck in trees, the cliche is to call the fire department, but Wilkinson said that’s not a realistic solution.

“Fire departments don’t actually do that, it’s a misconception,” he said. “They’ll do it in extraordinary situations, but most of the time cats get stuck in backyards.”

Wilkinson said he gets called from a few times per month to once every six weeks and estimates that he’s saved a couple dozen cats since he moved to Canada from Scotland six years ago.

He’s had many memorable encounters, including an “epic” scene with a dispute between neighbours when the cat was intruding on another’s property.

VIDEO: Nearly 60 feral cats caught in one B.C. neighbourhood

“The police were involved because the people didn’t get along,” Wilkinson said. “It was pretty funny because it really takes 10 minutes for me to get the cat down.”

His favourite, however, was rescuing a young cat from a 100-foot tree.

“The people who phoned me, it wasn’t even their cat … but they were almost in tears when I got it down,” he said, adding that they were so grateful they found every piece of cash they had. “It was a funny amount, like $46.25.”

Wilkinson said he registered with a Seattle-based online registry of cat rescuers, catinatreerescue.com, and believes that’s how most people find him.

“People are always amazed, but it’s so easy for me to do,” Wilkinson said. “I do much harder stuff.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Cats

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also in the process of setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read