It was like a scene playing out of an old American film this afternoon as a crew of firefighters steered their truck up a dusty Katherine driveway to rescue a three-legged cat from a tree.
The cat, dubbed Blazer after its rescuers, had been stuck about five metres above the ground in an old Gum tree at Stuart Estate since Tuesday.
It was dealing with barking dogs below in the yard of Moira McCreesh, a stumpy tail and one back leg completely gone from its small frame.
Katherine Fire Station officer Bernie Welsford was called to the scene with two auxilliaries; Robert Smets and Ron Green.
More accustomed to fighting raging fires across the dry Katherine region, the firies took a second to decide the best way to carry out the rescue.
"This isn't my first cat rescue," Mr Welsford said.
"But this isn't a common occurrence."
He said the days of firefighters coming to extricate cats from trees have largely passed with more people owning their own ladders, and the notion simply dying out.
"People don't really think it is our job anymore," he said.
"But we are happy to do it if people have exhausted all other options and we aren't busy.
"We see it as a community service."
Ron Green, a Katherine firefighting auxiliary who was awarded a bravery award earlier this year for risking his life to protect a neighbor from a knife-wielding attacker, stepped up yet again this afternoon as he volunteered to save the cat.
He said he was expecting it to jump down as soon as starting climbing the ladder.
But he was able to calmly coax the friendly cat towards him and descend to the safety of the ground.
"I have a habit of being attacked by animals, so I am just glad I didn't get a face full of scratches," he said.
About five metres above ground level, Moira McCreesh had no way of telling the cat had just three legs.
Although, she did wonder why it wasn't taking the opportunity to climb down the tree and onto the high fence when she took her dogs out for their twice daily walk.
When it crossed the 48 hour mark she began to worry and call around for help.
"I tried everyone I could think of," she said, "from the council who said they don't rescue cats from trees, to the vets and the neighbours."
She put notices on social media and called the rangers.
But it ultimately came down to a last resort.
"I knew the fire brigade did things like this through the odd newspaper story and old movies but I thought there is so much going on in Katherine this weekend there was no chance."
As it stands, an owner is yet to come forward to claim Blazer the cat, and it wasn't wearing a collar.
It has been taken to the vet where it will be checked out and put into adoption if it remains unclaimed.
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