Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

Police rescue stranded cat on Abu Dhabi motorway

Police stopped traffic to collect the cat so it could be taken to a local veterinary clinic

Abu Dhabi Police shut down six lanes of traffic to rescue a terrified cat stranded in the middle of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Cat enthusiast and advocate Simone Bester Cutting first spotted the marooned feline on the divider between traffic on Wednesday at around 8:05am, and quickly pulled over to call police.

“I tried to get to it myself from the side of the road but I realized that I was going to need help,” said Ms Cutting.

“I thought it was actually dead by then.”

It really gives us rescuers hope when we have support like that

Simone Bester Cutting, Mangrove Beach Cats

Initially, two officers were sent to help but they soon realised reaching the cat would require more help. They sent for more cars which were used to block off the six lanes of the motorway and one ramp separating the cat from its rescuers.

Police put the cat in a carrier before taking it to the British Veterinary Centre.

All in all, the rescue took over three hours.

According to Ms Cutting, the cat was not badly hurt but was treated for an unrelated abscess on his tail. She has taken responsibility for releasing the cat back into the area she believes it came from.

“We’ve had him neutered and he’ll be released because he’s quite feral,” she said.

The cat saved by police after becoming stranded on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Courtesy Simone Cutting
The cat saved by police after becoming stranded on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Courtesy Simone Cutting

Though it is impossible to be completely sure from which side of the motorway the cat came, she guesses it is more likely he came from the side populated by houses and plans to release him there after picking him up from the vet on Thursday.

“It’s very cruel to release a cat in an area where he’s not from because he’ll be very disoriented,” she said.

Ms Cutting has acquired substantial knowledge about cats from her extensive local involvement in groups like Mangrove Beach Cats, who watch out for colonies of stray cats near Mangrove Beach, Abu Dhabi.

“Half of my life is dealing with cats,” she said. The group makes sure local cats are spayed, neutered and “happy”. They take stray cats to the vet and finds them a home if they are seriously injured.

Ms Cutting has rescued stranded cats before but “normally it’s a case where people in our group or my husband get them.”

She was effusive in her gratitude for the care the police showed. “It really gives us rescuers hope when we have support like that.”

Updated: February 13, 2020 05:18 PM

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