A kitten has been saved from plummeting to the ground by the quick actions of an firefighter in a spectacular catch that was captured on film.
The kitten leapt 10 metres from a tree in South Australia, before it was caught the firefighter's hands.
RSPCA volunteers were called to a small reserve on the corner of Cross Keys and Barnstaple Road in Brahma Lodge, South Australia last Thursday to assist the animal after it was found stuck up a tree.
Now that the stray has been saved, staff at the RSPCA are considering the best name for the flying feline.
Top contenders so far are Buzz Lightyear, Howzat, Geronimo and Icarus.
Each name paying homage to the kitten's skycrawling talents.
Mawson Lakes local An had seen the kitten crossing Cross Keys Road at 11am last Thursday.
Unsure if the animal had been injured when it was clipped by a car, An pulled to the side of the road and went looking for the animal.
It was located in the tree. Attempts to coax it down failed when the animal began climbing higher. Eventually it became stuck 10 metres up.
"I knew I wouldn't be able to get him to come down, so I called the council and they put me through to the RSPCA," An said.
RSPCA volunteer rescue officer Mel came to the scene and immediately knew she needed to call in more help.
"We don't have the equipment to retrieve animals that are so high, so I contacted the MFS and firefighters from the Oakden station attended with a cherry picker," Mel said.
The cherry picker was moved into position while Mel and MFS firefighter Matt held a blanket below in case the kitten fell.
As the cherry picker moved closer, the kitten panicked and started scrambling to other branches before leaping from the tree.
Matt launched himself sideways and managed to catch the kitten and break its fall.
The heart-stopping moment was captured on a mobile phone by Amanda, an animal lover on her way to work who had stopped to see if she could help.
"Adrenalin was pumping for sure, it was an amazing catch," Amanda said.
RSPCA rescue officer Mel agrees, saying she feared the worst when the kitten leapt into mid-air.
"Matt's lightning reflexes saved the day - it was a great outcome from a tricky rescue operation."
The male kitten is approximately eight weeks old.
He does not have a microchip that would have enabled RSPCA to locate his owner and is now recovering at the Lonsdale shelter after a thorough assessment by RSPCA's veterinary team.
Apart from a small cut in his right front armpit and a sore leg, he does not appear to have suffered any serious injuries and will go into foster care until he's ready to be rehomed.
While this lucky kitten isn't yet available to adopt, RSPCA SA has more than 750 cats and kittens in care - about half of them in foster care - with 114 available to adopt from its Lonsdale shelter today.
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