High-stakes drama unfolded in the Auckland suburb of Cockle Bay this morning as firefighters were called in to rescue a cat stuck up a tree.
Station officer Rowan Hegley, who last year was Mr August in the 2012 New Zealand Firefighters Calendar, says a "distressed" woman called in to report the stricken feline.
"We got a phone call down at the station, well actually to our comms centre, a lady was a bit distressed about the cat being up this big Norfolk Pine," Mr August told 3 News.
"We normally say that if the cat's been up there a while it can come down on its own when it's hungry, but she was distressed and the owner wasn't around, so we said we'd come up and help her out."
Mr August waited on the ground while another firefighter performed the quintessential – yet highly dangerous – task of climbing a ladder, grasping the tabby cat by the scruff of its neck and lowering it to the ground, where cats belong.
Two other firefighters were also present at the Litten Rd address, in case the situation required backup.
But if you were planning to call the fire service next time your cat gets stuck, prepare to turn on the waterworks.
"We are there to help the public – we don't make a habit of getting everyone's cats out of a tree, but if the owners are distressed we will help them out," says Mr August.
"[We] love helping out. It's part of the community spirit of what we do for a job, so… you know."
The cat's name could not be confirmed, but 3 News understands it is likely to be 'Mittens', 'Paws' or 'Francis'.