Mumbai: Senior citizen falls off tree trying to save pet cat, dies

Updated: Nov 17, 2016, 10:21 IST | Suraj Ojha

Anyone who knew Satish Naik would have said that he loved his cat more than life itself, but they could never have imagined that he would prove it true

Satish Naik
Satish Naik

Anyone who knew Satish Naik would have said that he loved his cat more than life itself, but they could never have imagined that he would prove it true. The 62-year-old fell to his death while trying to rescue his beloved pet, Goru, from a tree branch outside his house.

Satish’s daughter Sanketa waited at home till the fire brigade rescued the cat from the tree. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
Satish’s daughter Sanketa waited at home till the fire brigade rescued the cat from the tree. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

The retired electrical engineer was deeply attached to Goru, whom he had adopted after his two older cats passed away. His wife, Megha, said, “Usually, we never let Goru stray from our sight, but that day, my husband took the cat to the building’s terrace so she could enjoy the morning rays and fresh air.”

Satish’s wife Megha holds the cat, who was none the worse for the experience
Satish’s wife Megha holds the cat, who was none the worse for the experience

Satish left the cat there while he went back to his flat right below, on the second floor. But after a few minutes, he saw dozens of crows hovering nearby and rushed upstairs in the fear that they would harm Goru. When he got there, he was even more shocked to see a monkey sitting on the terrace, while a scared Goru had clambered on to a tree adjacent to the building.

“He saw Goru clinging to one of the branches and, without wasting any time, he rushed downstairs to figure out a way to save her,” his wife recalled.

Fatal fall
Satish borrowed a ladder from the nearby temple and tried to climb the tree to rescue the cat. He tried climbing up three to four times, but failed each time. His advanced age wasn’t helping, and his family kept requesting him to stop.

Pramod Thakur, a newspaper vendor who watched the entire drama unfold, said, “Uncle ignored their pleas and insisted that he wanted to rescue Goru. Even I warned him to step down. Somehow, he gathered the strength to climb higher but then he lost his balance and fell. Uncle hit his head on the footpath and started bleeding profusely.”

Pramod called the police, who took the elderly man to Veer Savarkar Hospital, from where he had to be shifted to Fortis hospital in Nahur. The fall had led to a blot clot in Satish’s head, and he spent four days in a coma, battling for life before succumbing to the injuries on Saturday.

Animal lover
According to the neighbours, Satish loved all animals and would often spend out of his own pocket to feed and ensure medical treatment of street animals. He had collaborated with several NGOs to ensure proper care for the local strays and would also buy chicken legs to feed them.

“One of Satish’s cats, Kalu, died on May 12. Since then, Satish would observe a fast on the 12th of every month. I couldn’t help noticing that he passed away on the 12th as well,” said his wife, who stayed by his side at the hospital.

And what of Goru? Satish’s daughter Sanketa made sure to call the fire brigade to rescue Goru who was brought down from the tree, safe and healthy, and probably still holding on to all nine of her lives.

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