Would your local road crew pull out all the stops to save just one cat?
It was a harrowing afternoon for one scared cat and a city road crew, watching with bated breath. According to a report from NHK.or.jp, a cat successfully made it down off a freeway overpass fence on the Fukuoka City Expressway in Fukukoa City earlier yesterday morning (Mar. 22, 2021.)
This was no small task considering the road crew charged with maintaining this stretch of freeway had to bring out a small crew of at least five men, three emergency vehicles with flashing warning lights, and several warning signs, closing off a lane of traffic to pull off the operation.
Video taken at a crucial moment of the rescue effort is making its rounds on Twitter. Check out the video for yourself below.
In this screenshot provided by NHK below, the Kanji reads, “Cats are being captured.” T_T
It all started after a person driving by noticed the cat stuck on the fence. After phoning emergency services, a series of phonecalls eventually led to the Fukuoka-Kitakyushu Expressway Public Corporation, the company tasked with maintaining the particular stretch of freeway where the cat was stranded.
As you can see in the video, the road crew did the best they could to facilitate a safe rescue. It looks like they placed safety nets on either side with said lane of traffic closed to encourage a natural exit by the cat.
Three hours hints this was more of a waiting game. When coerced from high ledges, cats can become spooked and sometimes are forced to jump from a height they normally would’ve come down from on their own.
Details are few about what actually went down, but the report mentions the cat eventually jumped, landing on one of the nets.
While you’d think this road crew just love cats, that’s only part of the equation, there’s also the general safety of drivers and good samaritans who come across these animals plays an important role to rescue stranded animals the right way.
Untrained good samaritans without the resources for this kind of rescue might, in the middle of their own rescue attempt, cause more harm than good by spooking the animal into dangerous traffic or causing an accident themselves after dangerously stopping in the middle of a busy freeway.
And you’d think this level of rescue is something you’d only find in Japan, but you’d be mistaken. In 2017, CHP officers in California rescued a cat stuck in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of the moveable median barriers.
As the post below goes through, CHP closed off a lane of traffic on the busy bridge to locate and rescue the kitten they eventually named “Bridges.”
If you come across an animal that doesn’t belong on the freeway, it’s best to phone it in rather than dealing with it yourself.