This is a story about a cat I will call Princess. She was rescued a month ago, not from a shelter or a hoarding situation, but from a 50-foot Siberian elm.

Princess was stuck for four days in the tree near Alto Park. On the third day, Allison Lasky and her partner John Holden were walking on the trail near the park when Darius, a young boy, approached to tell the couple about the cat high in the tree. Darius explained to Lasky that Princess had been up in the tree for three days and he thought she lived in nearby apartments. Lasky attempted to coax Princess down and even tried climbing the tree.

As the trio tried to get Princess down, others came to the rescue.

Some people arrived with food and others showed up with a ladder. Someone posted about the dilemma on social media. The nights had been cold, and everyone present agreed Princess could not be up there much longer.

Lasky began by calling the animal shelter, then the fire department. Both said they do not rescue cats from trees.

Lasky called arborists. Coates Tree Service was happy to help, and Ryan Brenteson, owner of Very Good Tree Service, also offered his services.

“I get lots of calls for cats stuck up in trees. I generally recommend not to worry,” Brenteson said. “When a cat is ready to come down, they will. Otherwise, if it is up there for too long or is in distress, feel free to call me.”

By the fourth day, Princess was still in the tree.

Lasky got in touch with Brenteson, and by this time, more than enough funds had been raised on a Go Fund Me page to pay Brenteson for his services. Lasky said she will donate the remainder of the funds to Felines & Friends and Bridging the World Animal Sanctuary.

Brenteson estimated Princess had climbed up 40 feet. Although she wasn’t in distress, Princess was ready to come down when the arborist reached her. She allowed Brenteson to place her in a canvas bag and carry her down to safety. Before he could reach the ground, Princess jumped out of the bag and raced toward the apartments.

Just as quickly as it was for a cat that no one knew to climb up a tree and be rescued, a small group of people showed the Santa Fe community that, yes, we can work together.


Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society: Maggie is a gorgeous 2-year-old mixed-breed dog who weighs around 60 pounds. Maggie has been around children and other dogs. Maggie loves to go on walks and explore her surroundings.

Simba is one of the sweetest cats around. He is almost 2 years old and loves people. Simba will hop in a person’s lap and stay there for hours.

These and other animals are available for adoption from the animal shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road.

The shelter’s adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 505-983-4309, ext. 1610, or visit

Española Humane: Kareem, a 6-year-old, 55-pound pit bull is a long-term resident. Kareem’s adoption fee is waived and he is neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and comes with six months of heartworm prevention.

Churro is a 1-year-old 12-pound indoor cat. He is very calm and loving and he adores other pets and people. His adoption fee is waived through Monday.

Apply at or call 505-753-8662.

Felines & Friends: Chaz and Sonny are an 8-month-old bonded pair. Chaz is an adorable gray tabby while Sonny is a handsome black and white shorthair. These sweet boys are friendly and used to dogs. They can be a little shy in new places but are easy to hold and love to play. See them at the Petco Adoption Center.

Diamante is a very loving, cuddly 7-month-old kitten. This gray-and-white stunner with gorgeous eyes is very playful and would do best in a household with another playful cat. He is bunking at Petco with his buddy Raina.

Dew Paws Rescue: Silver is a 4-year-old male, medium-length haired cat who loves people and would be the perfect companion for someone with no pets. Although Silver has had stenosis, it has been treated and he comes with a special additive for his water bowl to prevent dental disease. Fish is a 7-year-old cat who is quiet.

Call 505-412-9096 or visit

The Horse Shelter: Mick is a bright and dashing 5-year-old chestnut pony. He has completed a 60-day ground work challenge, is easy to catch, lead, back, yielding, sending everywhere, standing tied, picking up his feet and trailer loading.

Mick is not saddle trained but has great potential. Mick and many other horses are available at The Horse Shelter. For more information, visit thehorse or call 505-577-2193.

(5) comments

Carolyn DM

Bravo to the fine people who rescued this cat, especially the Laskys who coordinated it all. Hopefully the owners will keep her safe inside from now on.

Allison Lasky

I am Allison who rescued Princess (which is this kitties real name). The young boy Darius knew this from meeting her owners at the tree at the beginning of the 4 days she was stuck there. From what he said, she sounded like an indoor cat. Indoor cats do not tend to have the skills to get them out of situations like this. Cat’s claws are designed to climb only upwards effectively. They also tend to keep their heads upright. They can only climb down backwards, which is very difficult and even more so for an indoor cat.

Here is a good article about why cats get stuck in trees and what to do:

Help! My cat is stuck in a tree!: Before You Call

If you find a cat stuck in a tree here’s what to do:

If it is long enough or you know they will not get down themselves, call a tree trimming service. In Santa Fe, Coate’s Tree Service does this for no official charge, but does appreciate tips. Very Good Tree Service will do this for $250.

If you do not have funds to pay for a tree service, create a fundraiser on GoFundMe or other similar sites, that’s what I did. Post on and other social media to request donations. People are often happy to help. We received more than enough money within a day or so, which allowed us to make generous donations to two local animal rescue organizations.

After you retrieve them if you do not know where they live, take them to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. They are a “no kill” shelter. If it is a feral cat call them first and ask them how to proceed.

This experience was a beautiful reminder to me of how powerful it can be when we all pull together as a community. Thank you everyone!

Henry R.

How idiotic that our City of SF animal control and fire department will not assist with rescuing a cat from a tree.

Michael Kiley

I agree. The firefighters have the ladders and ropes. Its good practice and exercise. Why not? We do have tree climbers for sport who could do it, and tree trimmers. But of all these heroes, who is sitting in the day room at the station watching TV?

Henry R.

Thank you to Darius; the young boy that was caring and concerned enough about the cat to tell the couple about the cat stuck up in the tree. Thank you to the couple and others that came together to help get the poor cat down. How idiotic that our City of Santa Fe

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