As her cat, Bailey, was howling out for help, Hollie McCulloch could do little to save the animal. To make matters worse, the rail company that manages the 50-foot drop-off and embankment wasn’t willing to intervene, either.
“My mum and I went looking for him. That is when we heard him meowing from the railway embankment off Southport Road,” she told the Liverpool Echo. “I can hear Bailey meowing, but I can’t see him. Network Rail came out and said the area was too dangerous for anyone to go down there. But if they stopped the trains, it would be safe. I suppose they don’t want to do that just for Bailey.”
McCulloch, from Liverpool, noticed her cat was missing on Wednesday, August 9. After hearing Bailey cry out from the overgrown embankment, she contacted Network Rail to help retrieve her furry friend. But the rail company declined to help, claiming the rescue would be too dangerous to attempt on the embankment.
“After being alerted to a reported trapped cat on land near the railway, we immediately checked to see if we could help,” a spokesperson from Network Rail said. “Unfortunately, the busy train line and near vertical embankment meant it wasn’t possible to safely get close to where the cat was thought to be. We hope the cat and its owner are reunited as soon as possible.”
The distraught young girl took to Facebook to find help for Bailey, her seemingly only other option after the rail officials refused.
“Just looking for advice. Our cat Bailey was stuck in the railway embankment behind Southport Road. When we whistle for him he meows. He’s been stuck there for over 24 hours. We rang the RSPCA first response, but is there anything else anyone can suggest? I have been back this morning; it’s like a 70ft drop into some railway line. We can’t hear him anymore. If nothing has happened to him, he could possibly have wandered off trying to find a way back up. In case he turns up off the track, possibly around Kirkdale or Bank Hall, please look out for him. Siamese cat with blue eyes, brown plastic colour,” she posted to the Animal Aid Charity page.
After raising attention on several other charity pages, and her own, McCulloch was met with mixed responses from the public. Some offered support, and even to help the girl retrieve her cat, while others maintained a rescue was too dangerous to save the animal.
According to Paula Towner, who attempted to help by calling Network Rail herself, the company was unwilling to offer any support.
“Bailey is now well known [because] of his situation, stuck on the embankment of the railway in Bootle,” Towner posted on Scouse Pets 2. “Network Rail have just told me that they won’t be helping because ‘He can be replaced.’ How callous is this? I’ve told the company exactly what I think of them too.”
Days later, McCulloch posted an update to the same page.
“A cat trap was placed where he was last seen last night by Network Rail. I contacted them just before. They said they have been checking it regularly, and it’s remained empty,” she wrote on August 12.
It’s yet unknown what has happened to Bailey, but thousands of miles away from Liverpool, a rescue of another sort is ongoing. Click the link below to read more about the forgotten dogs of Chernobyl.
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