Ones who have done something brave…example:

Firemen who risk their lives to save a cat tree’d by the most vilest and vicious dogs on earth…no, not earth but dogs from hell….yes, the pit of hell…a cat wedged between two limbs 500 feet up in a tree, in the middle of a storm with hail and lightening, torrents of rain and gale force winds; whose weak in body from lack of food and water…barely able to breath or move or meow…a cat, who, in any other circumstance would never require such assistance…however, such assistance is always graciously tolerated, of course.

Please accept these gifts and my humble thanks

Norton Hammond


I wanted to give a brief explanation of the photo and caption of the banner on this blog.

The above note is a true story…well, it’s based on a true story. I am not Norton. Norton is my cat and this is the story of how Norton was tree’d and survived.

One hot and humid July morning in Marietta GA, Norton lay on the front stoop of the house surveying his domain – just another ordinary summer day in “Hot ‘Lanta” or so it seemed. In the sky clouds began to collect and the wind picked up slightly…a storm was coming.

Two aggressive dogs were loose and roaming the neighborhood. Unbeknownst to Norton, or myself, this was their second pass by our house. Early in the morning a neighbor had encountered them when they attacked her cat.

The quiet of the day was shattered as a loud ruckus began. I ran out the front door to see two dogs running hither and yon through the yard and then sprint off down the street with smiles of pure bliss on their faces. I called animal control then went to find Norton.

Thankfully, he had the wherewithal to go up a tree. I had told him over and over to climb a tree if anything ever goes after him. Well, he listened and came through the ordeal with a small wound on his ear and one near his tail. I’m not sure if the wounds were from the dogs or climbing the tree. My neighbor’s cat ended up with her stomach ripped open and had to have surgery. She never told her cat how to stay safe.

It took about a half hour of searching and calling before he was found. Poor fellow was out of breath, extremely scared, and couldn’t meow loud enough to let me know where he was. He had climbed up a Poplar tree and had gone way too high to be gotten down without a ladder. In addition, Norton was quite plump and had become wedged in the elbow of two limbs. He couldn’t move. He was stuck and the sky was darkening.

My neighbor said to leave him he would come down. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. He was too stressed and couldn’t budge. My only hope were firemen. But would they come? I didn’t know.

I asked my neighbor to stay with Norton and talk to him to try and calm him down. I told Norton to be brave and I’d be right back. He did, she didn’t.

The firehouse was close by but the firemen weren’t sure they would be able to help – liability and all.  I spoke with the Captain on duty and plead Norton’s case.  He called his superior to ask if they could go and get Norton down. Permission was given and the firetruck with three big firemen followed me back home.

It was quite exciting. The firetruck was there with lights flashing. Three firemen assessed the situation to determine how it was doable. Neighbors came from all around to see what was happening. The youngest and the most fit of the fireman (and he was quite fit, let me tell ya) suited-up, putting on his heavy suit, thick gloves, and hat before heading up to get Norton.

Norton stayed calm as the ladder was raised…

I kept talking to Norton as the fireman went up the ladder. The fireman was a bit apprehensive; I don’t believe he had ever held a cat before, let alone a scared one in a tree. Norton was fantastic! He allowed the scary looking fireman to lift him out of the wedge in the tree and bring him down the ladder (a lesson in cat handling might be a possible future training class for firefighters…but that was no matter at this time).  Norton was down. He was safe and he ran home as soon as he hit the ground.

In gratitude for their bravery, Norton dictated the above letter and I delivered the original colored version along with a basket of goodies to the firehouse. We sent a letter of commendation for the guys to the Fire Chief.

Norton’s adventure made the firehouse newsletter and the neighborhood FB page.

I say all of this so that you will understand the banner on this blog. That is Norton with his gift for the fireman (don’t be concerned it’s only a virtual gift…no mouse was harmed).  I also say this to dispel the myth that firemen no longer rescue cats from trees. They do and you can use this true account as an example…although Norton would prefer to remain anonymous…after all, he has his reputation to consider.


Thoughts Abandon

9 thoughts on “HEROes…

  1. That was a touching story about Norton as well as the banner of your blog. Although you had explained Norton’s fate beforehand, the narration held me til the very end. May the Force be with the Jedi Knights of firefighting!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are gigantic ones here – Palmetto bugs (named the darn state after them). They fly too (or so I’m told). We rarely have them in the house though. I spray the doorways and windows with catnip tea..I’m not a fan of living with bugs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ouch! I googled them! We have wetas – apparently they’re the largest (or is it the heaviest?) insect in the world. They’re quite harmless and they’re rarely found inside (except for yesterday when we had a huge one on the door step!)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t think I’d like wetas much…though I imagine the kitties would. Lizards and skink are their favorites. They no longer kill them, just bring them up and wait for me to see. They know I will run out to save them…I think the cats enjoy my despair.

        Liked by 1 person

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