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‘George of the Valley’: Front Royal, Va. man climbs 60-foot tree to rescue cat

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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EDINBURG, Va. (WHSV) - It’s the classic tale where a cat goes up a tree and can’t get down. But this time, one Front Royal man decided to put his gear on and climb a 60-foot tree to save it.

Daniel Miller has been climbing trees since he was a kid. He’s climbed professionally for the past five years.

Miller is used to cutting down trees and scaling the top of large oaks through his business, Shade Tree Service. But last Thursday, he put his skills to the test.

Last week, Robin Bradfield with Fury Friends Animal Rescue said she received a call about a cat stuck in a 60-foot tall tree.

Bradfield said she reached out to local first responders, who were unable to save the cat due to how high up it was in the tree.

After five days, she continued to send out messages on Facebook, hoping someone would be able to make a save, either by climbing or with a bucket truck.

“It was lucky it had survived. It had survived major storms, cold weather, hot weather. And we put another desperate plea out for help,” Bradfield said.

Early morning Friday was when Miller, also known as “George of the Valley,” decided he wanted to help bring the cat back down.

“I got a text message from one of my friends when I got home, and it was like 12 a.m., that said, ‘Hey can you come to get a cat out of a tree that’s like 90 feet up in a tree?’ and I was like, ‘Right now?’” Miller said. “She said, ‘Yeah, right now. He’s been there for five days.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, where is he?’”

Miller’s mom drove him from Front Royal to Edinburg at 1 a.m. so he could get some rest before gearing up for the climb.

With no safety line, Miller reached the top of the tree. He began to cut the branch the cat was sitting on, but the branch snapped.

“The branch went down in this other tree where I didn’t want it to go, and then [the cat] climbed out and strapped on the tree and looked at me and went, ‘Meow.’ And I was like you have got to be kidding me,” Miller said. “I had to go down from right here and then spike up this tree, and that’s where he climbed to me.”

Miller was able to lower the cat down into a bag before swinging back over to the other tree to get back to the ground. Now, Miller is being called a hero.

“You are amazing Daniel, and we appreciate it, and we are going to do something special for him. We just haven’t figured out what yet,” Bradfield said.

Bradfield said the cat was taken to a veterinarian and appears to be healthy.

You can check out the amazing save here.

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