Trampoline a purr-fect landing place for frightened feline
LOU Batey reckons her rag doll cat Zayba has used up not only three or four of her nine cat lives, but a few of her own human ones as well after her weekend exploits.
The 18-month-old feline "flew" from a tall tree and lived to tell the tale - helped by a handy trampoline.
Family and friends of the Batey family were gathering for a 40th birthday party in their leafy Heritage Park back yard north of Moonee late on Saturday afternoon when a visiting Jack Russell terrier decided to play his own party game of Hunt the Cat.
A terrified Zayba put paw to tree trunk and headed for the sky at startling speed, not stopping until she was a furry dot in the crown of a tall eucalypt, where she called a halt about 11m above the ground.
With the longest extension ladders manifestly inadequate, even for fire brigade models, it was decided to call in the cavalry and contact the tree men.
But a flurry of frantic phone calls discovered the district's arborists were either out of contact or enjoying beer o'clock.
What to do, with the shadows of a purr-fect day rapidly lengthening?
The brave little cat assessed her dilemma and finally decided it was time to go into reverse.
"She was shimmying down backwards like a fireman on a pole," said one onlooker.
"Then she just leapt from about five metres up."
She sprang past all the outstretched hands and right into the middle of the trampoline, where the surprised puss barely touched down before rocketing upwards again like a spring unwound, until she finally lost altitude and came back to earth for good.
"I don't think she's ever climbed a tree before," Lou Batey said.
"She's probably only got four or five of her nine lives left and she's used up some of mine as well.
"It definitely terrified her and she's still a bit sooky, but she has been outside again since.
"She's never been chased by a dog before - we have a big dog, but Max never chases her and our two-and-a-half acres is all fenced in."