A wayward feline is rescued after days on neighbor's roof


February 08, 2000|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN KELLY ROTH climbed out of her friend's hot tub last Tuesday evening, she wasn't sure what she was hearing. It sounded like a cat. But in the winter chill, she didn't think anyone would let their house pets face the cold, sharp winds blowing through the streets of Crofton Meadows.

After a short investigation, she found that a crowd had gathered around a neighbor's home, trying to locate what was, indeed, a cat -- and obviously stuck somewhere in the snow and ice.

It was Snowy, an appropriately named young white and gray tabby that had somehow climbed onto the roof. When Roth asked how long the feline had been up there, someone said at least three days.

Roth called the fire department and was put in touch with dispatcher Tina Clark, who was not only helpful but very sympathetic in sending firefighters to attempt a rescue.

The volunteers took on a difficult task. By the time Chip Parlin, Rick Kitchen, Shaun Love and Danny Stallings arrived, it was past 10 p.m. The ice on the roof had refrozen, making their many rescue attempts futile. They tried to lure the cat off the roof with tuna, to no avail.

Finally, they decided to see whether Snowy would come down on her own during the night. The firefighters of Arundel Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 7 had braved the bitter cold when no one else could help Snowy. They risked serious injury for a stray cat stuck on a roof. Roth and the neighbors are grateful for their help.

When Roth woke up the next morning, she was disappointed to find Snowy still on the roof, and very, very cold.

The firefighters could not come back right away, so Roth related the story to Sarah Fleischer at the radio station 98 Rock. After Fleischer sent a plea to anyone in the area who could help Snowy, a listener called the station to offer assistance.

Glenn Camara from Ray Sofield Electric showed up at the house early Wednesday afternoon. At the risk of broken bones, or any other of the many injuries that could occur from slipping off the frozen roof, he brought Snowy back to earth.

Snowy's owner was out of town and had hired a sitter to check on the cat and two other felines that did not escape. Snowy is said to be doing fine, Roth reports.

Prize-winning thanks

Army 2nd Lt. Lynda Gerhart has been named first-prize winner in an international "Letters from Home" contest, sponsored by Defense Department Commissaries and Roberts Rector, a Georgia firm that presents entertainment programs to American troops overseas.

Her letter was among more than 3,000 submitted and sent to soldiers stationed around the world, thanking them for their service -- but Gerhart, assigned to the 902nd Army Military Intelligence Group at Fort Meade, says that she wasn't thinking of the competition when she wrote her letter.

She had seen an announcement of the need for letters during a visit to the commissary, and remembered how lonely she had felt during her Christmastime in Saudi Arabia and how important mail had been to her. So she wanted to express her appreciation for the soldiers who are "holding the fort" overseas.

In her winning letter, Gerhart wrote:

"I am especially thankful as I am a first time mother of a four month old baby girl. I appreciate that my child can be born in a nation that promotes free will, justice and prosperity. You've a vital role in protecting our way of life and America appreciates it. You will be home soon."

John Cavanaugh, president of the Fort Meade Retired Officers Association, reports that his group has received many letters from soldiers who appreciated being remembered.

One particularly poignant letter came from an ambulance driver in Bosnia. She wrote that the contest letter sent to her platoon was the only piece of Christmas cheer sent to the soldiers in her group of 22. That letter was passed from one soldier to the next and cherished by all.

Crofton's coffeehouse

Crofton City Limits will hold its monthly coffeehouse Friday in the Fellowship Hall of Community United Methodist Church. The popular open-mike program offers a casual evening of entertainment by talented local musicians and poets.

Doors open at 7: 30 p.m. and the music will begin at 8 p.m. Performers are invited to register when they arrive. An admission fee of $3 includes the entertainment as well as coffee and snacks.

This month, the coffeehouse is offering an Old Friends Welcome Back Special. Bring your Crofton City Limits coffee mug for a $1 discount on the admission.

Information: 301-858-1595 or 301-261-6723.

Valentine celebrations

Children love Valentine's Day, and area libraries will help them celebrate.

The Maryland City at Russett branch library invites children ages 2 through 6 and their caregivers to enjoy stories, finger plays and fun in its "Be Mine For Storytime" programs at 10 a.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. Thursday.

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