Saturday, September 17, 2011

The #savebonehead saga: Twitter, Kijiji and cat lovers save the day

A cat listed as missing on Kijiji has a new, loving home after the kitteh was found on a Halifax roof and rescued thanks to the passionate efforts of a group of people who found each other this week through Twitter. Radio station News95.7 broke the story the next morning, and it's finally been told on television as well.

The cat's original owners have been contacted -- kitteh's name was Rupert -- and they say the new folks can keep him. Happy ending.

Congratulations to all involved!  And I'll vouch for the deliciousness of Boneheads BBQ. I've only eaten there once but want to again!


The story reported first on News95.7 radio:

Halifax resident Jesse Doyle started an online flurry of activity when she noticed the cat on her neighbour's roof was stranded, scared and in dire straits.

The consensus among her neighbours was that the cat had been stuck on the steep roof top of the three-storey building for three to four days with no visible way of getting down.

"We called animal control, the SPCA, the fire department, all of them said they couldn't do anything," Doyle told News 957.

So Doyle put out a plea for help on the social media network Twitter, and the word spread quickly with the hashtag #savebonehead. (See the conversation.)

"It was amazing. It spread like crazy and we got tons of responses," she said.

Cindy Wheatley, owner of Boneheads BBQ restaurant, started calling in other businesses for help.

Banfield Electric brought a bucket truck to attempt to reach the feline, but power lines made that impossible.

Wheatley then called Five Star Roofing.

Owner Leonard McCarthy seemed to be the only person with the skill and equipment for the task. He made the daring rescue in the dark of night.

"Still scary. Especially in the dark," said McCarthy. "With a little bit of talking he finally came over. We had a little chat and he jumped in the bag."

Doyle said the cat, now known as Bonehead, has been eating and drinking.

The next quest is to find Bonehead's owner. It's suspected the cat may be one named "Rupert" that went missing from a South End residence a month ago and who is being featured in a Kijiji advertisement.

"Ruperts owners have moved & both phones are out of service," writes @brinkofink, who was a major player in the online saga."We are going to email them. I'll keep you posted.”

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