The Captain and Keith

Reading, MA – It sounds like the opening of a children’s story: “The Adventures of Captain Jack, The One-Eyed Cat.” But what sounds like the start of a great adventure was the start of a two-day Homer-Esque odyssey, ending in a daring rescue, a rainstorm, and a friendly tree trimmer named Keith. But we’ll get there. 

Captain Jack. Photo courtesy of David Day.

According to his owners, Reading residents David and Megan Day, our hero (who is actually a one-eyed rescue cat named Captain Jack) is somewhat of a troublemaker,. 

“He loves to be outside, regardless of our attempts to keep him in. He will bolt out the door any chance he gets. He is overly friendly, to the point of inviting himself into neighbors’ houses to make himself at home. One of our neighbors told us that he regularly comes in and that sometimes it’s difficult to get him to leave” said David Day.

This inclination toward bolting has given Captain Jack a bit of reputation with his adoptive owners. 

“We have a tracker collar on him so we can locate him, as he is notorious for getting stuck in trees. He’s been stuck in at least a dozen trees. We figure having one eye eliminates his depth perception, so going up doesn’t seem to be a problem, but he outright refuses to get down. He’ll just sit, stuck, meowing for – in this case – days and even through the pouring cold rain,” said Day. 

And last Thursday night, that is exactly what Captain Jack did. Rushing out the door like a man on a mission, Jack bolted down the street to a 60-foot-tall tree near 144 Charles Street, making himself at home on a branch near the top, where he immediately regretted his decision. 

“The branch was so high, he was swaying in the breeze,” said Day. 

Rightfully horrified when they found their cat in this position after he didn’t return home on Friday morning, David and Megan Day set to work trying to figure out how to get the Captain down from his crow’s nest. 

“We called the fire company to see if they would save him, but they declined. My wife asked a passing police officer, and he stated that because they don’t find cat skeletons in trees, their presumption is cats get down themselves. Unfortunately, we don’t believe this is the case with our one-eyed captain,” said Day. 

With Captain Jack meowing in the distance, the Days next tried calling several tree trimmers, thinking that they might be able to reach the Captain.

“We called up several tree trimming companies to see if anyone would come to save him, several of which wanted three to four hundred dollars just to come out,” said Day.

Keith Derochers to the rescue. Photo courtesy of David Day

That was until they called Keith’s Tree Service in Wakefield. Keith Derochers, a crane operator at Keith’s Tree Service and a fellow animal lover, was sympathetic to the predicament that Captain Jack had put himself in.

“Keith came out in the pouring rain, threaded the crane through multiple trees to reach our Captain Jack. He was the hero of the day. Captain Jack came down, soaking wet and hungry. When we got him home, we got him dried off, and he ran right to his food dish,” said Day.

One can only hope that Captain Jack has learned his lesson and in the future will solely focus his pillaging efforts where his owners can reach him. 

Keith’s Tree Service is located at 465 Water Street in Wakefield and is owned by a separate Keith, Keith Brennan. 

Clarification: Animal rescue is not a service that Keith’s Tree Service typically provides, and depending on the circumstances, they may not always be able to reach the animals. 

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