“WE JOKE about it a lot, but we don’t often rescue cats from trees.”

That was the remark from Ludgershall fire station watch manager Conrad Jordon after an unusual Christmas Eve callout.

A crew was called on December 24 to reports of a cat suspected to have been stuck in a tree in Tidworth for three days.

The feline’s distraught owners had been searching for the tabby, and after discovering it high up a tree in the woods, called the RSPCA in an effort to get their four-legged friend back home in time for Christmas.

Conrad said: “We were mobilised by control after they were contacted by the RSPCA who went out and assessed the situation.

“The cat was quite a considerable distance up the tree, you couldn’t reach it with a normal ladder.

“We assessed the situation and could only just reach the cat with our ladder at its full extent, which was 12 metres. We had to push the ladder against the tree and send a firefighter up to try and persuade the cat to come down. Cats being cats, it didn’t like to be helped, so it moved to another branch lower down.”

After adjusting the ladder, the firefighter managed to get hold of the cat.

However, about halfway down the ladder, the feline had had enough, and instead decided to jump down the rest of the way and run home.

The owners reported the cat returning home and immediately making a beeline for its food.

The owners gifted the firefighters a box of Quality Street to show their appreciation.

Conrad added: “It’s important to remember that we don’t just tackle fires, we do rescues, both human and animals.

“We’ve rescued all sorts of animals, including horses and cows. They get stuck in the mud and river beds. Getting them out can be quite the task.

“However, I can’t even remember the last time we rescued a cat from a tree.”