Iceland Mag

4 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Photos: Reykjavík fire department rescues cat from tree

By Staff

  • Serving and protecting all of Reykjavík's residents The fire deparment bringing the cat Kismús down from a tree after nearly 36 hours. Photo/Magnús Helgason

"It was a successful rescue operation!" Ari Hauksson, a sergeant with the Reykjavík Fire Department told Iceland Magazine after he and his crew rescued a cat from a tree in a Reykjavík suburb. The cat, a small seven year old feline called Kismús (Cat-mouse), was grateful for her rescue, as were her owners. 

Cat rescue in Básendi

Assessing the situation Ari Hauksson, sergent with the Fire Department determining how best to organize the operation. Photo/Magnús Helgason

Ari told Iceland Magazine that requests to rescue cats in distress are not very common, although they come in regularly. "Usually they find a way down on their own: We have never encountered a dead cat in a tree!"

However, Ari added that every once in a while cats become too caught up in the excitement of the moment, and then they can get stuck. "But they usually get their courage back when they see us approaching with the ladder, and run off and manage to find their way down." 

Magnús, the father of Kismús' owner said the cat had gotten stuck in the tree sometime early late Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning. The tree she climbed is an old and tall aspen. "It's one of the tallest trees in the neighborhood," he told Iceland Magazine. 

Cat rescue in Básendi

Cat rescue The cat was too far up the old tall aspen to make it down by herself. Photo/Magnús Helgason

All branches on the bottom 6-7 meters (20-23 ft) of the tree have been cut off, leaving a the trunk bare. The cat had managed to climb up the moss and lichen covered trunk, but couldn't make it back down. Once up in the tree the cat just continued, ultimately stopping some 8-10 meters (26-32 ft) from the ground.

"It was clear she wasn't going to come down on her own, and there was no way for me to get up there to rescue her myself," Magnús said. 

Magnús' daughter, who owns the cat, recruited one of her high school friends to get the cat down. The friend, who is an experienced climber, made it half way up the trunk before giving up.

Magnús said that the family had decided to give the cat 24 hours to get back down on its own before calling the Fire Department. When the 24 hours were up, and it was clear the cat wasn't coming down on his own, he called 112, "very apologetically", he emphasized. The Fire Department was busy most of the morning, but promised they would send over a car when they had the time.

Cat rescue in Básendi

Cat rescue Kitty comes down from the tree Photo/Magnús Helgason

"It's good for the boys to get some exercise in these kinds of rescue operations!" Ari told Iceland Magazine. Two of his crew members, Steinþór Darri and Svavar managed to get the cat from the tree. Instead of trying to run off when she saw the ladder approaching, Kismús allowed the firemen to grab her, holding onto their jackets while she was escorted back to level ground. 

Happy to be back on the ground Kismús immediately ran back home where a bowl of her favorite treat was waiting for her. 

Cat rescue in Básendi
The first snack in 36 hours An adventure which ended well Photo/Magnús Helgason


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