Does the fire department still rescue cats?

If you’ve got a cat stuck in a tree, call a professional.

Technically, Gulfport firefighter Kenny Stephenson wasn’t a professional at rescuing cats until after he pulled Honey out of a tree. It was a first in his year-and-a-half career.

“That’s why I’m up in the tree,” Stephenson joked.

“I’ve had to get a dog out of a tree before,” engineer Prentice Ferrill, a 20-year veteran, noted.

Neighbors had tried to get Honey down, but she was too high in the tree for them to safely reach from a ladder, Sophia Sanders said.

That’s when they called the fire department.

“Can’t let her sit in the tree all night crying,” she said.

Honey is a neighborhood cat. She was passed down from her previous owner when the woman moved.

A dog owned by neighbor Karis Woods had chased Honey up the tree.

“She ran up that tree as fast as she could,” Sanders said.

After Stephenson rescued her, she ran away just as quickly.

John Fitzhugh: 228-896-2193, @JFitzhughPhoto