The unnamed woman – in her 60s – was brought back down to earth by firefighters equipped with a ladder truck in the American city of Presque Isle, in Maine. “I just couldn’t believe she was that high up,” said deputy fire chief Rick Wark, talking to The Huffington Post.

The drama began when the worried owner spotted her beloved black cat high up in the branches of the fir-type tree. She decided to launch her own rescue effort – but scaled heights of stupidity by getting dangerously high off the ground. Fortunately she had brought her cell phone and was able to dial 911 for assistance.

Firefighters also used phones to communicate with the woman when they got to the scene – she was so high up that it was difficult to hear her voice from the ground. Wark and firefighter Jesse Bell could not even see her at first – but eventually pinpointed her location when they saw some leaves rustling.

Wark told the Huffington Post that when his colleague went up on ladder the woman initially refused to come down without her pet, but she was persuaded to co-operate when the firefighter promised to return for the furry troublemaker. The owner collapsed from exhaustion when she returned to terra firma, but quickly made a full recovery. The cat, meanwhile, came down on its own after evading the firefighters’ efforts to retrieve it.

Wark advised people trying to get a cat down from a tree to put food at the base and walk away. “They always come down eventually,” he said.