By Hannah Brockhaus
Vatican firefighters successfully rescued a cat on Tuesday after it became stuck on top of the colonnade surrounding St. Peter’s Square.
Several times during the late morning on Feb. 15 the firemen ascended to the top of the portico on their fire truck ladder in an attempt to grab the orange cat from the corner where it was perching.
Several attempts were unsuccessful, as the furry creature narrowly skittered past the firefighter’s arms and around the edge of the architectural masterpiece designed by 17th-century sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
It is not currently known who the cat belongs to or how it was able to ascend the colonnade, which consists of 284 columns, around 50 feet tall, arranged in rows of four.
The firefighters appeared to take some time to regroup after the cat moved to a new position, hiding behind loudspeakers as a rain shower passed over.
An eyewitness told CNA less than an hour later that the cat had evaded firefighters once again before leaping unharmed down to the ground, where Vatican safety personnel were able to scoop it up safely.
It isn’t clear where the cat would go next, but bystanders speculated that it would be given to a family to take care of.
A woman who identified herself as Silvia, who works at a nearby religious goods and souvenir shop, had a front row seat to the rescue.
“They took the cat and cleaned it, and now they have taken it away in a car,” she told CNA.
“Maybe they will give it to a family that needs affection, because, anyway, pets bring a lot of affection and love.”