A CAT which had been stuck 70ft up a tree for a week was saved by a nimble have-a-go hero.

Rebecca Cherriman from Billingshurst became worried about young puss Pepsi when he did not return home for his dinner for seven days.

She went looking for the ginger tom cat on Wednesday morning and heard a familiar meow.

The 32-year-old mother of two said: “I went into the field near where we live, shaking his food bowl, and realised I could hear him.

“Neighbours said they had heard him crying for days but couldn’t see him.

“Then we realised we weren’t looking high enough as he was all the way up about 50ft in a tree.”

Rebecca contacted West Sussex Fire and Rescue service and the RSPCA and a large rescue party arrived.

The Argus: West Sussex Fire and Rescue attempted to bring Pepsi to safety. Photo by Eddie MitchellWest Sussex Fire and Rescue attempted to bring Pepsi to safety. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

However the fire service’s Technical Rescue Unit faced a challenging task as Pepsi panicked and kept climbing higher.

Rebecca said: “They suspended a person off a crane and attempted twice to get him but he kept moving further up.

“One of them couldn’t even see Pepsi when he was up there.”

The rescuers spent a couple of hours trying to coax Pepsi down with no success. They decided to leave one of the RSPCA’s humane cat traps in the tree with a dish of food to lure him in and planned to return the next morning.

Rebecca said: “That evening I went back out about 9pm and a neighbour was trying to talk Pepsi down. A dog walker came by and called a friend who knew a tree surgeon.

“He turned up quickly and wanted to get up fast as the light was going. So he clambered up the tree and grabbed Pepsi – he made it look easy.

The Argus: Pepsi is now safe at home with RebeccaPepsi is now safe at home with Rebecca

“He was happy to have done a good deed and we were just so grateful to have Pepsi back.”

The tree surgeon, Joe Collier, said when he got the call about Pepsi he “dropped everything he was doing” to help the cat, using a ladder, harness and 47-metre rope.

The 24-year-old from Rudgwick said: “Going up trees is my full-time job.

“The cat was about 70ft up.

The Argus: Tree surgeon Joe Collier jumped into action to retrieve PepsiTree surgeon Joe Collier jumped into action to retrieve Pepsi

“Eventually he started coming towards me but he would not jump into my hands, so I reached behind and gave him a little shove and carried him down on my shoulder.

“His owner did want to hug me but we did social distancing.

“I always go out of my way to help people.”

Rebecca said she thinks Pepsi had got himself stuck in the tree after chasing squirrels, and hopes the adventurous cat has learned his lesson.

She added: "He ran straight in and completely demolished his food as soon as we got him home.

"He was a bit skinny and dirty but after seven days away from any food or water, I'm not surprised.  

"We're going to keep him in for a while."