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Cat rescue causes a stir at St. Peter’s

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 02/15/22 - updated on 02/15/22

The imprudent kitty was determined to outwit the firefighters trying to help him!

Vatican City firefighters intervened to save a cat stuck in the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square on February 15, 2022. Despite their equipment, the firefighters were unable to grab the feline, who fell about 16 meters (about 50 feet). Though stunned, the animal came to its senses and was provided medical treatment.

For more than two hours in the late morning, the attention of tourists in Saint Peter’s Square was caught up by the rescue of a ginger cat stuck on a cornice of Bernini’s grandiose colonnade. Alerted by the police, the firefighters of the Vatican barracks arrived with two trucks equipped with removable ladders. They deployed them so that two firefighters could stand on either side of the cat and grab it.

But twice, the frightened feline tricked the firefighters by jumping over their outstretched hands. He continued his journey on the cornice of the colonnade, on the inside this time. Dozens of spectators, phones pointed at the cat, were able to follow this unusual rescue.

The firefighters, now equipped with a net, again tried to recover the feline. But the animal went to find refuge on one of the imposing loudspeakers in St. Peter’s Square. Seeking to escape from the top of the colonnade, the cat attempted a spectacular leap: alas, his attempt failed. He then fell 16 meters, causing cries of dismay and fear among the crowd.

Firefighters and police quickly surrounded the poor animal and ensured that tourists stayed away. A woman, who I.MEDIA learned was a veterinarian, ran to the assembled rescuers and offered to help.

It was only after several minutes that we could see the cat jump again and escape, triggering a wave of applause. According to a witness interviewed by CNA , the injured cat was eventually captured and taken away by firefighters for treatment.

The Vatican had around 30 firefighters in 2019, reports the Italian agencyANSA. That year, they were honored following an unprecedented incident. Pope Francis, who was to pronounce the Sunday Angelus at the window of the Apostolic Palace, was stuck for 25 minutes in an elevator due to a power failure. This epic phenomenon was quite publicly noticeable, due to the Pontiff’s delay for the midday Angelus. He explained his misadventure to the faithful from the window of the palace and had the firefighters applauded for their help.

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