An entire unit of laughing firefighters rescued an NYPD cop who got trapped in a tree Monday — after the officer climbed up to save a scared cat and couldn’t get back down, officials said.
NYPD veteran Dane Natto and his partner responded to frantic 911 calls about a black and white stray feline in the boughs across from PS 213 in Oakland Gardens, Queens.
In front of a crowd of elementary-school students, Natto climbed the tree — but every time he got close to the cat, it scampered up beyond his reach, witnesses said.
“When the officer went up, the cat moved farther away from the trunk . . . There was no way he could get it,” said a witness, Jeff Yu, 22.
Once Natto was 30 feet in the air, he called off the chase — and yelled to his partner that he couldn’t get back down.
“We looked out the window, and we saw the cop inside the tree — sitting,” said Luna Giuong, 19.
“[His] partner was laughing at him,” she added.
Then Natto’s colleague put out a call for assistance from the FDNY.
Sources said dispatchers asked him to repeat what was going on — since they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
When firefighters arrived, “they didn’t go straight to helping him,” Giuong said. “They all gathered around and laughed at him. They took their time just crowding around. It seemed the officer was enjoying himself.”
After the ribbing, the firefighters used a ladder to climb the tree — and grabbed the quivering cat first.
Then a smiling Natto climbed down the ladder — and the schoolkids broke out in applause.
The embarrassing ordeal took about 30 minutes.
“The Fire Department seemed to be having a good time with it,” Yu said. “[And] the officer seemed like he was having a good time.”
The cat was taken to a local veterinarian.
And other than his ego, Natto was unbruised.
“Everybody’s fine,” said FDNY spokesman Jim Long.
Republished with permission of The New York Post.