Spence Cocanour continues to overcome obstacles that others would find insurmountable and to climb the tallest trees, just as he did when he was in the military. However, he now does it to save cats.
In Asheville, North Carolina, cat owners can count on a volunteer like no other to save their feline friends if they get stuck high in a tree. This is Spence Cocanour, a former member of the United States Air Force.
This retired colonel’s speciality was air support control. In other words, it designated targets from the ground for attack aircraft. A job for which he was called upon to overcome a variety of obstacles. «Part of my training was rock climbing, abseiling and tree climbing,» he told Blue Banner.
Returning to civilian life, he decided to put his skills to the service of rescuing cats, which he does for free.
Whenever he learns that a cat is stranded up in a tree in Asheville and surrounding towns, Spence Cocanour travels to the scene with his climbing gear to rescue it.
The idea of helping cats stuck in trees came to him while watching a documentary on the subject. His first «mission», he carried out in 2019 after the call launched by the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue association.
The latter was looking for someone to pick up a cat that had climbed on a branch that was too high and couldn’t come down. The organization could not afford to pay a professional. Spence Cocanour saved it, then has done the same for over 100 others since.
He does not always act alone; his wife Amy, also a former soldier, often accompanies him during his interventions. When she is not on the scene, she is responsible for transmitting distress calls from feline owners.
Spence Cocanour says his most complex operation was rescuing a cat named Snowball. He managed to bring it back safe and sound to dry land after the animal had spent 7 days on a tree 25 meters high. 2 other climbers had tried, in vain, to rescue him before him.