As a result of the fall, Piney’s leg was broken in several places, and her thorax was injured causing air to accumulate in her chest and compress her heart. As a result, her breathing was very labored and she had to stay in an oxygen tank all weekend for observation. She was also severely dehydrated from not having any food or water for more than a week.
Piney was first heard crying on Saturday, March 3, from a tree about three stories high in a condo development in north Reston, reports 4Paws, a nonprofit, all-volunteer cat rescue organization based in Merrifield. Food was left for her at the bottom of the tree but she was too scared to try to climb down to get it.
Two days later she was still up there. On the third day, she had disappeared, and it was thought she had managed to get down and run away. The next day, meowing could be heard coming from somewhere up high in the trees. Piney was spotted on March 9 even higher up in an adjacent tree.
Throughout Piney’s ordeal, the fire department came to the tree four times but was unable to help. A tree service company came to rescue Piney on March 10, but she was scared and climbed even higher and eventually jumped to the ground and tried to run away. A 4Paws volunteer who was on the scene chased her down and rushed her to the vet.
On March 13, Piney’s breathing finally improved enough for her to undergo surgery. Dr. George Siemering at VCA Southpaws attached a metal plate to her leg to hold the bone in place while it heals. She will have a splint for six to eight weeks and then will need to get reacquainted with her leg once the splint comes off. Piney has not been claimed by an owner.
Her vet expenses are a great burden for the 4Paws Rescue Team, so the group set up a donation site for people to contribute online. Donations will be accepted through March 26.