Little Bealings: Wendy’s 600-mile flight to rescue cat stuck on roof
A CAT lover has told how she travelled 600 miles to rescue a mischievous moggy after it became stuck on a hot roof.
Wendy Wilson made the mercy trip from her home in Little Bealings, near Woodbridge, to the south of France when no-one else could coax down tabby cat Sandy for three weeks.
The 65-year-old retired building society worker had taken in the stray at her holiday home in the village of Cruzy and, after the rescue, she became so worried it would happen again she found the cat a new owner back in Suffolk.
Mrs Wilson joked the rescue made last week’s incident when five fire crews were mistakenly sent to the aid of a cat on the roof of a house in Leiston seem not quite so dramatic.
“My family thought I was mad,” she said. “But I couldn’t bear to think about Sandy suffering.”
The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-one took a shine to the tortoise shell tabby which hung around her home in the French village, where Mrs Wilson stays several weeks a year with her partner Brian.
“She had been abandoned by a family who had left the village and she came to us for food,” she said.
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“She was living in a shack next door and eventually she ended up living on our windowsill. We called her Sandy.
“We made a little home for her out of Perspex and I would feed her and make sure she was okay.
“When we weren’t there, our neighbour Marie would feed her. Sandy led a solitary life and she couldn’t find a home – all the animal centres in France were full.”
It was while Mrs Wilson was back in Little Bealings that Sandy got into a spot of bother.
She climbed up through a neighbouring garage up on to a roof and could not get down, despite the efforts of Mrs Wilson’s neighbours.
“I had a telephone call from Marie who said she had been up there for about three weeks and wouldn’t come down – some of my English friends had even tried to get her,” she said.
“It was baking hot and she wasn’t eating or drinking. I was so worried that I decided the only thing to do was to fly over and rescue her.”
Mrs Wilson arranged flights with Ryanair and within a couple of days was on the scene, jetting from Stansted to Carcasonne then hiring a car in a trip that cost hundreds of pounds.
“I got in through the garage and to as close as I could get and as soon as she heard my voice Sandy came to me.
“She was so dehydrated and we nursed her back to health. But I was still so worried when we weren’t there.”
After the close call, Mrs Wilson resolved to find Sandy a proper home. She couldn’t take her in as she already had two cats of her own but when her friend Peggy Ward’s cat died, she was able to make the ideal arrangement.
Sandy was inoculated and even given a passport before she could be transported to Britain, and now lives in comfort with her devoted new owner – and with regular visits from her rescuer. “She’s so happy now,” said Mrs Wilson.
“So much so, she never goes out – certainly not on to roofs.”