"Bobtail' - Finally, An Easy Rescue

(August 2013)

Executive Summary

"Bobtail" was stuck in a pine tree. She graciously allowed me to climb to her, place her in the cat bag, and bring her down. Time was 30 minutes from start to finish.

Details

I checked my cell phone at about 9:45 am on a Saturday morning, and I had a text message from my wife "Cat emergency in Starkville, call me". Since I always do what my wife asks, I call, and learn that one of my wife's co-workers called her about a cat stuck in a tree. She knew to call my wife because my wife has been telling lots of folks all about her husband's new eccentric hobby. I get a phone number, call, receive an address, and drive over. This is my first rescue in Starkville, so it is nice to only drive 10 minutes and be at the tree. Miss L, who called my wife, and Miss C were waiting and they led me to their backyard where "Bobtail" was sitting precariously on a very small stub about 30 feet up a pine tree. They explained that Bobtail is a neighbor's cat that they are friendly with, and that Bobtail decided to cross their backyard even though it is completely enclosed by a chain-link fence and has their three dogs in it. Predictably, the dogs reacted, and Bobtail had to high-tail (oh, I kill myself!) it up a tree. Bobtail was young, orange, and bob-tailed. She was crying, and panting between cries as it was 90+ degrees. Thinking of my last rescue, I asked Miss L how skittish Bobtail was, as I was afraid Bobtail may try to high-tail (ok, I will stop) it further up the tree to the first limb, which was at about 70 feet. Miss L. said that, yes, she was somewhat skittish. This just meant that I brought out my catch pole, which I purchased after my last rescue where I chased a skittish cat across three trees.

I put my gear on, and started up the tree. I was using spikes, as there was no way that I could get a line up to the first limb with my throw bag as it was too high. At about 10 feet up, I asked Miss C to throw my cat bag up to me, as I wanted a backup to the catch pole. I got about 8 feet under Bobtail, pulled my catch pole up, and moved the noose up towards Bobtail. I was just a bit too far for a comfortable grab with the pole, and it was also making Bobtail nervous. I lowered the catch pole back to the ground and started climbing again. Bobtail was watching me, and crying, but not making any moves up the tree. I decided to just try to grab her as that would be simpler than the catch pole. I got even with Bobtail, and remembering my first disastrous "rescue" with the cat bag, took my time with her. I carefully grabbed her by the scruff with my left hand, then got my gloved right hand on her scruff as well and pulled her into the bag. Bobtail put up little resistance, she wanted down! I closed the bag, hung it from a gear loop, and climbed down with her. All were happy. As I drove away, I noted that it had only been 30 minutes between arrival and departure. Oh, if all cat rescues could be so straight forward! Photos courtesy of Miss L.