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After Spending $6,300 to Rescue Cat From Bridge, It Climbs Down by Itself and Gets Grounded Forever

By Samuel Allegri

A mischievous kitten called “Hatty” is going to be grounded forever and become a house cat from now on.

It caught the attention of thousands of people who thought it was trapped in the Royal Albert Bridge, England, for five or six days, reported Plymouth Live.

The cat, a 5-year-old Maine Coon-Serengeti cross, incurred costs of $6,300 in an operation that was dropped after they realized the cat came down the bridge itself.

The operation involved firefighters spending 5 hours on the rescue mission, numerous RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) visits, attempts to lure the cat with catapulted treats, a dead seagull, and preparations to close train lines, The Independent reported.

Hatty was just taking a normal walk in its home garden in Saltash at around 11 p.m. on May 29.

Its owner, Kirsty Howden was “shocked and elated” when the cat decided it would come back down. It “strolled past fire and media crews,” she said.

She thinks that Hatty came down because of a delicious mixture of catnip, fish, and the help and endeavors of the fire and rescue services.

“There’s a part of me that thinks it was sheer stubbornness and determination, mixed with portions of fix, a little bit of catnip and several men climbing up a ladder and trying to grab her. She is going to stay inside, we haven’t broken it to her yet but yes, we’re going to try and make her a house-cat for a bit because I don’t want anymore adventures on the bridges,” said Howden.

Howden’s children were impressed by the whole occurrence.

“It started out with my cat missing and just utterly fearful for her safety, but the next thing you know, you’re being phoned up and people are talking about your cat. I went down at about 7 p.m. on Tuesday night when the message first came through and I was there until midnight and then yesterday I was down there just before 8 and I stayed put until it was about 6.” continued Howden.

“I then spent an hour in the train station waiting for Network Rail, because they were trying to hatch a secret mission. There was a 40-minute window of opportunity to go out and grab her from under the tracks.”

Then, almost like a deus ex machina, the unexpected and unlikely occurred.

“I was sat responding to comments, heard a meow outside, had a look through the window and there she was! She is a bit skinny and smelly, very vocal and has now headed upstairs and put herself to bed,” the 39-year-old mother of three told Plymouth Live about the final act of the drama.

There were plans to close the train lines on Thursday morning in order to rescue the cat from the railway tracks.

“The control room are in conversation with the fire service and RSPCA. Fire service need an hour to access Hatty from the track. We’ve offered a slot tomorrow morning to minimise disruption,” said a Network Rail spokesperson.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue said earlier on Wednesday, “Crews are in attendance to rescue a cat that is trapped on a bridge support and has been for some days. Crew from Saltash, 2 technical rescue officers and the RSPCA are in attendance. Crews are using a 135 ladder attempting to rescue the cat.”

On Wednesday, an RSPCA spokesperson issued a statement, “Our inspector has been liaising with Network Rail because of the proximity to the live railway. I understand the railway company will be taking a look at the situation and will be looking to see what action can be taken to help Hatty, with support from the RSPCA and fire and rescue service.”