When historic flooding hit the Greater Fort Smith region, UAFS students and staff alike pitched in to help, filling sandbags and carting belongings out of threatened homes. The university also participated in a small rescue – small that is unless you were the cat on the hot tin roof.
A small feral cat, you see, was trapped on the hot, corrugated metal roofs at the stockyards in Moffett, surrounded by water as far as the eye could see, without a drop to drink. So the unsung heroes in the Unmanned Aerial Systems program in the College of Applied Science and Technology sprang into action.
It was impossible to effect an air rescue since no one expected the little mouser to allow herself to be captured by a drone and lofted above the spreading waters of the Arkansas River cat-in-the-cradle style.
So Gary Crude, electronics technology and unmanned aerial Systems instructor, and David Pollman fashioned a small basket to tote water and food to the famished feline; then they used a small drone launched from the Garrison Avenue Bridge to deliver the rations to the cat’s rooftop accommodations. What the tabby thought about her room service was not known, but onlookers agreed it was the cat’s meow.