Retired Colonel now devotes his time to saving cats stuck in trees

After years of service in the US military, a retired colonel has decided to redirect his efforts toward saving animals, especially cats.

If your cat becomes stuck in a tree in Asheville, North Carolina, you may rely on a volunteer with invaluable experience.

The man is Spence Cocanour, and he used to serve in the United States Air Force. While he has hung up his military uniform for some time, Spence Cocanour can still climb the highest trees and overcome challenges that most people consider insurmountable.

However, he now performs this act to protect feline species.

In his former job, this colonel was an air defense and support expert. In other words, he directed the attacks from the ground and the planes and helicopters sent in to carry them out.

This sensitive mission required the determined soldier to overcome many challenges. Spence told Asheville student-led Blue Banner:

“Part of my training was doing rock climbing, rappelling, and climbing trees.”

In his post-military life, he volunteers his time and energy to save cats’ lives at no cost. In Asheville and the surrounding areas, Spence Cocanour responds with his climbing gear whenever someone reports a cat trapped in a tree.

The retiree discovered his new calling in 2019 when he saw a show about cats being entangled in trees on the Discovery channel. Spence thought his experience would allow him to save these animals faster than most.

Thus. he started training for the eventuality. His wife even caught him climbing on a tree to assess his chop.

Saving cats in trees, a new vocation

 Soon, Spence would be called on his first feline rescue mission. The colonel responded to an appeal by Brother Wolf Animal Rescue on a local website.

The group needed help finding a person to rescue a cat that had gotten stuck in a high tree. Yet, they lacked the resources to hire an expert.

Luckily, Spence Cocanour volunteered and found his new gig. Since 2019, the man has saved over a hundred others from similar situations.

Cocanour’s wife, Amy, herself a veteran, frequently goes along on his missions with him. She is responsible for relaying cat owners’ distress calls when she is not physically present at the location.

Spence Cocanour claims saving a cat named Snowball was the most challenging operation he’s ever undertaken. After the puss had spent seven days on a tree 25 meters high, he brought him back down safely to the floor.

Two previous mountaineers had already made fruitless attempts to save it.

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