HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. — After a no-doubt harrowing adventure, an escaped indoor cat is safe after rescuers in Indiana recovered it from the face of a dam.
A fisherman first noticed the cat stranded on the dam spillway and called authorities.
"In the one picture you can see the cat in the very center," the Huntington County Sheriff's Department said in a Facebook post. "It is unknown how the animal got there, as there is no way to access that area, it is possible it had fallen off of SR 5 or was thrown off."
The Sheriff's department said that the cat was "clearly in distress" and had huddled into the metal structure on the face of the dam, just above the spillway.
"There was not anyway to gain access to the animal, short of taking a boat out and hoping we could coax it down. It was decided it was worth a shot to attempt the help the cat versus doing nothing," the agency said.
The Army Corp of Engineers also came to the scene — acquiring a boat and getting permission to shut off the flow of water down the dam spillway so that rescuers could get below the cat and hope to catch it.
With the water off, rescuers set out in their boat. As soon as they hit the concrete spillway, the Sheriff's department said, the imperiled cat came loose from its perch and slid down the spillway to the rescuers in their boat — allowing Army engineers to nab the cat just as it was hitting the surface of the water.
According to reporting from WPTA in Fort Wayne, the cat was later identified as one "Mr. Vanjie" and returned home to his owner. Mr. Vanjie was an indoor-outdoor cat who had gone missing a little over two weeks before the rescue.
Mr. Vanjie's owner said that the feline has lost a lot of weight but seems to be healthy.